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Posted: 2/6/2002 7:26:10 AM EDT
(February 6) - Sami al-Arian, a tenured professor at the University of South Florida in Tampa, might lose his job any day now. Most coverage of his story portrays the computer scientist as the victim of a political witch-hunt, but that misses the real story, which is about his links to terrorism. A New York Times editorial criticizing USF for planning to fire al-Arian gives the impression the issue is a long-ago speech calling for "victory to Islam" and "death to Israel." Another account suggests the Palestinian professor might be dismissed for merely failing to inform viewers of a television show his political views "did not necessarily reflect" those of USF. The university administration itself has stumbled over itself, raising different and inconsistent grounds for letting go of al-Arian. One moment it says his activities "outside the scope of his employment? had an adverse impact on the legitimate interests of the university." Next, USF announces that it "cannot guarantee the safety of Dr. al-Arian and students, faculty and staff around him," should he remain on campus. It also accuses him of trespassing on university property after having been banned from the place. Oh, and it complains that his case has cost the university lots of money. None of these poor excuses is the real grounds for sacking al-Arian. Unfortunately, finding out the real problem is not easy. Fortunately, there is a source for it - the same investigative reporter who first broke the al-Arian story back in 1994. Steven Emerson devotes a chapter of his hard-hitting, brand-new book American Jihad: The Terrorists Living among Us (Free Press), to the USF saga. There and in other writings, Emerson reveals the good professor's activities: * Al-Arian founded two organizations, the Islamic Committee for Palestine and the World and Islam Studies Enterprise, which - according to an Immigration and Naturalization Service affidavit - were used as fronts to enable terrorists to enter the US. * At ICP conferences, speakers would "condone violent acts against Israel, and Israelis, and Jews and Western targets," then go on to solicit funds to engage in such acts, again according to the INS. * Al-Arian himself wrote letters soliciting funds for these causes, says the FBI. * Al-Arian used his USF office to do ICP business on at least one occasion. * The ICP was known as the American arm of Islamic Jihad, the arch-murderous anti-Israel group; "we like to call it the Islamic Committee for Palestine here for security reasons," announced one ICP fundraiser. * Al-Arian served as the visa sponsor for Ramadan Abdullah Shallah to enter the US, invited him to Tampa, hired him to run WISE, placed him on the ICP board, and encouraged USF to appoint him a professor of Middle East studies. Later, Shallah left Tampa for another job. Which one? Secretary-general of Islamic Jihad. Emerson reports the FBI, while searching WISE offices, "uncovered one of the largest collections of terrorist fund-raising and propaganda material ever seized in the United States." It also discovered many connections between WISE and international terrorists. Al-Arian, in short, has been an integral part of the terror network Americans now find themselves at war with. His case is not about academic freedom of speech but about a professor being held accountable for being part of a terrorist apparatus that has killed Americans.
Link Posted: 2/6/2002 7:28:01 AM EDT
part two The media (with the notable exception of The Tampa Tribune) have largely ignored al-Arian's terrorist activities, as have faculty labor unions, student groups, Islamic organizations, and civil libertarians. Fortunately, Emerson is there to provide documentation and explanation. More than any other source, his American Jihad accurately and courageously informs Americans in detail their enemy in the war on terror resides not just in the caves of Afghanistan but also in their midst, even at leading universities. It is important that USF president Judy Genshaft expel him, both to absolve her institution of "Jihad U" charges and to show American universities are doing their part in the war on terrorism. (The writer is director of Philadelphia-based Middle East Forum.
Link Posted: 2/6/2002 10:22:05 AM EDT
i graduated from USF in the 80s, and it's a fine school, good arts, sciences, business and medicine programs. but it's always had an air of political activism going there. i remember there were iranian students protesting against the shah and the savak (iranian secret police). i remember how excited they were when the shah fell, and how it took about a year before they realized khomeni was as bad or worse. i guess i'm trying to say that USF has always tried to tolerate political and ideological expression for the sake of academic freedom. i think they let this one go too far when they tolerated him (Sami)advocating violence. but then some here advocate violence toward muslims in general, and i have to ask, how is his position any different?
Link Posted: 2/6/2002 10:34:21 AM EDT
I took some Master's courses in History there back in 95 and I can tell you that the History department was a snakepit of anti-American BS. The most CONSERVATIVE members of the History dept were Marxists...the liberals were Deconstructionist whackos. One History professor actually had Che Guavera posters and camouflage netting hung in his office.
Link Posted: 2/6/2002 10:37:00 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 2/6/2002 10:41:19 AM EDT by FlagWaver]
Hey Sami al-Arian!!!! [img]http://www.42.dropbear.id.au/image/nicegrandma.jpg[/img]
Link Posted: 2/6/2002 6:26:50 PM EDT
I lived in Central Florida for most of my life. I graduated from UCF in '74 and also took classes at USF. There is a big problem with the "level 3" schools in Florida. Try and find a professor that has english as his/her first lanuage. My son graduated from UCF last year. Half of his professors were foreigners. A third of his classmates were from a third world country. I think that USF would be similar. No wonder people like Sami can get their message out. He is mostly preaching to the choir. I wish there was a way to clean out the universities. Get rid of the left wingers and the anti American foreigners. We could start in Central Florida.
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