Skip to comments.Behind Al-Arian's facade (founded the World and Islam Studies Enterprise at USF a decade ago)
Posted on 11/01/2001 1:56:02 AM PST by Cincinatus' Wife
In 1995, after a suicide bombing operation carried out by Palestinian Islamic Jihad killed 21 Israeli soldiers, University of South Florida computer science professor Sami Al-Arian wrote a fund-raising letter in which he "call(s) upon you to try to extend true support to the jihad effort in Palestine so that operations such as these can continue." Many of Al-Arian's past statements and associations have raised suspicions that he was involved with terrorist organizations based in the Middle East. However, the fund-raising letter signed by al-Arian, shown during the Oct. 28 telecast of NBC's Dateline, is direct evidence of his active support for terrorism.
As usual, Al-Arian dismissed the story as old news and impugned the integrity of his critics. The videotapes and letters speak for themselves. When Al-Arian is seen and heard saying "let us damn America" and calling Jews "monkeys and pigs," no one needs to rely on his critics to interpret his remarks. And when he puts his signature on a letter soliciting funds for terrorist operations, his involvement isn't subject to misunderstanding.
Al-Arian claims he only "raised funds for the orphans" of suicide bombers. Please. It's no wonder he thinks he can get away with insulting people's intelligence. He has been playing his American hosts for fools for years, presenting a benign face to the general public while spewing the most hateful sort of venom in the company of fellow Islamic extremists.
The facade should have been stripped away years ago. Al-Arian founded the World and Islam Studies Enterprise at USF a decade ago. WISE sponsored events at USF and at other sites around the country, some of which featured radical Islamic speakers such as Sheik Omar Abdul Rahman, later convicted in connection with the 1993 bombing of the World Trade Center. WISE was shut down in 1995 after one of Al-Arian's WISE associates, Ramadan Shallah, left USF and popped up in Syria as the new leader of Palestinian Islamic Jihad -- the same terrorist organization for which Al-Arian was soliciting funds that year. Al-Arian claimed at the time to be shocked to learn of Shallah's association with PIJ.
Al-Arian is entitled to his political views, and supervisors say he has competently performed his duties as a computer science professor. However, USF administrators never should have allowed the university to be affiliated with WISE under the leadership of Al-Arian, who has no academic credentials in Islamic studies.
A 1996 report for USF prepared by Tampa lawyer Wm. Reece Smith somehow managed to find "no evidence" that Al-Arian or WISE had supported terrorism. For better or worse, USF officials allowed Al-Arian to keep his job then, despite the embarrassment he brought to the university by misrepresenting WISE's activities. There is no evidence that Al-Arian has engaged in fund-raising for PIJ or any other terrorist group since WISE was shut down in 1995. Still, the embarrassment to the university hasn't ended. USF President Judy Genshaft put Al-Arian on paid administrative leave again last month because of campus safety concerns after Al-Arian made a controversial appearance on Fox News Channel's The O'Reilly Factor. The recent national attention, some of which he actively courted, has backfired on Al-Arian. He is still a legal resident of the country he damned, and he may yet return to lecture (though presumably not on Middle Eastern politics) at the university he embarrassed. But he'll never again get away with the pretense that his ugly support for terrorism has been misunderstood.
Is this "professor" even a citizen?
Check out LINK at Post # 18.
USF Provost S. David Stamps (issued Sept. 12, 2001): [Text below]
This morning, on Sept. 12, 2001, we return to daily business while yesterday's nightmare is still unfolding before us. My sympathy goes out to the many people who were injured or who lost friends and family in this national catastrophe. Few, if any of us, are untouched by the ramifications of this tragic event.
Even as we mourn, we must remember that as academic leaders, teachers and scholars, we have an important responsibility. More than ever, we need to set an example of calm and reasoned response, assisting our students to maintain a climate that values open dialogue and rational discussion. This is not the time to lash out in anger, or to foster hatred for our neighbors. Indeed, others will be looking to us for explanation and understanding. We must not let them down.
As we all know, this is a watershed moment, which will not be over soon. We do not know how events will develop, and we learn more about the causes and implications of the tragedy each day. We owe it to our students to allow time and space for both mourning and debate in an environment of mutual respect and freedom. These are the values for which our university and our nation must continue to stand. Thank you.
Thank you for the information!
Why is he still here and on PAID leave from a U.S. university? This is OUTRAGEOUS!
The National Press Club should be Freeped mightily for giving these ex-cons, misfits, and traitors a soapbox.
In 1995, Al-Najjar was completing his doctorate in industrial management at the University of South Florida, where he taught Arabic as an adjunct professor. A Palestinian refugee born in Gaza and educated in Egypt, he had lived in the United States on a student visa for 10 years.
He worked as a volunteer researcher with his brother-in-law, USF colleague and fellow Palestinian Sami Al-Arian.
The two men were devoted to Al-Arian's brainchild, a USF-sponsored research center called the World and Islam Studies Enterprise, or WISE. Both say the purpose of the center, which operated out of a cramped USF office on a budget of about $20,000 a year, was to bring U.S. and Middle Eastern scholars together to discuss political and economic issues in that part of the world.
Today, at 43, Al-Najjar is still battling deportation, a process that could take years. In the meantime, the government is refusing to give him a work permit. He and his wife are living on her salary as a pharmacist and what little he can make as a translator and lecturer.
He also teaches at the Islamic Academy of Florida, a small school where Al-Arian, his former WISE colleague, is the principal. Islamic Academy of Florida faculity and staff
This guy escapes the hellhole that is the Islamic Middle East, then tries to destroy the country that takes him in, and we can't boot him out because of our own rules! As a society/country, we're insane! When will sanity prevail?
Debbie Schlussel of World Net Daily says Bush also supported them.:
Daniel Pipes and Steven Emerson also reported in the WSJ, in August, 2001:
Meanwhile, the person in charge of ICP and WISE was also a tenured professor at the University of South Florida named Sami Al Arian. Despite what has been known for years about the ICP and WISE, he remains in good standing at his university and has even attended four White House events in the past four years.
Pipes full article:
I think its way past time to be very, very, watchful of politicians who continue to accept support from Muslim groups in this country including our President, whom, I fear, may allow his admiration of religion, however laudable, to cloud his judgement.
I believe George W. Bush has his eyes WIDE open about these guys now.
I sincerely hope you're right -- I don't think I can stand any more rhetoric about "the religion of peace," no matter how necessary to the war effort.
For years he's on PAID leave!!!! He has a job as the principal of the Islamic Academy of Florida.
Let those parents support him. I don't think many others want to keep him fed and housed here in the U.S.
Everyone should read The Closed Circle by David Pryce-Jones.
Mohammad Rahat says he made the remark ``in a sarcastic way.'' But it caused enough of a stir that the university fired him -- an action that Rahat blames not only on his politically charged words, which also criticized U.S. foreign policy, but on his citizenship: Iranian.
``If the same thing had occurred with someone of a different background, it would have resulted in a different outcome,'' Rahat said Thursday outside his former job site on UM's Jackson Memorial Hospital campus. ``This was discrimination.''
Paula Musto, UM's vice president of university relations, confirmed Thursday that Rahat was fired in September because of what he said at work. But she denied that discrimination was at issue, saying that UM has ``many, many Arab and Muslim students, faculty and staff.''