Terrorists on the Quad
by Candace de Russy
Aside from mere sympathy for jihadist goals, there have also been more concrete examples of the rise of terrorist influence on our nation's campuses. In a recent event that has garnered relatively little media attention, a prominent public university confronted what certainly looked and smelled like a jihadist attack. Mohammed Reza Taheri-azar, a UNC graduate, slammed his SUV into a crowd of innocent students. Thereafter he commented that he believed the U.S. government had been "killing his people across the sea" and that his action bespoke "an eye for an eye." Taheri-azar also declared he was "thankful for the opportunity to spread the will of Allah." Still, some observers were reluctant to call this a terrorist act.
At Yale, we had the spectacle of administrators—who bar ROTC from the campus—falling over themselves to enroll Sayed Rahmatullah Hashemi, the former ambassador-at-large and apologist for the deadly Taliban regime in Afghanistan. Hashemi still attempts to gloss over the Taliban's crimes against women and dissenters, including executions. As columnist John Fund noted wryly, "This is taking the obsession that U.S. universities have with promoting diversity a bit too far." Fund asked why Hashemi should "go to the line ahead of all…[the] many poor, bright students…who would jump at the opportunity to attend Yale" as well as "who at the State Department approved [his] application for a student visa."
In addition, some are urging that Sami Al-Arian, whose lawyers admitted in his recent trial that he had "an affiliation" with the murderous Palestinian Islamic Jihad, be reemployed at the University of South Florida.
And Brandeis University has hired Khalil Shikaki as a fellow in its Middle East Studies program. Stephen Schwartz, executive director of the Center for Islamic Pluralism, writes that Shikaki is a supporter of the terrorist group Palestinian Islamic Jihad, or PIJ. According to Schwartz, he appeared at an event sponsored by the Islamic Committee for Palestine, an organization which the Justice Department describes as a front for the PIJ, along with the "blind sheik," Omar Abdul Rahman, who is now serving a life sentence for plotting to blow up the United Nations and other sites in New York City.
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