The Terror and Crime of the American Task Force on Palestine

The Terror and Crime of the American Task Force on Palestine

Posted By Joe Kaufman On January 29, 2010 @ 12:21 am In FrontPage | 24 Comments


While America is staunchly pro-Israel, there sits at the foot of the power base of the U.S. government a radical element that wishes to change that reality. The American Task Force on Palestine (ATFP) is that radical element. But as elected officials gladly jump to attend the group’s affairs, ATFP leaders connected to criminal and/or terrorist activity mysteriously vanish from the group without a word of their leaving, in hope that no one is paying attention.

On October 15, 2009, ATFP held its fourth annual gala – a black tie affair – in Washington, D.C. National Security Advisor James L. Jones gave the keynote address for the event; House Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Representative Howard Berman provided a letter of support and commendation; and ten current United States Senators and Representatives were named as parties to the gala’s Honorary Host Committee.

This, while ATFP was allowing the participation at the gala [1] of one of the leaders of a group the U.S. government has long considered a terrorist organization. The group was the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), and the leader was Chief Representative to the PLO to the United States Maen Ariekat. Ariekat was part of the Honorary Host Committee and he gave the introduction to General Jones. As well, Ariekat read a letter of support from global PLO leader Mahmoud Abbas. The letter, as well as Aiekat’s gala remarks, is found on ATFP’s website.

According to the Anti-Terrorism Act of 1987, which was signed into law by President Ronald Wilson Reagan in December 1987, “[T]he Congress determines that the PLO and its affiliates are a terrorist organization and a threat to the interests of the United States, its allies, and to international law and should not benefit from operating in the United States.”

The Act is still in effect today, albeit it’s been hampered by signed Presidential waivers circumventing its enforcement [2]. The waivers provide convenient excuses for politicians who wish to attend such functions as what’s sponsored by ATFP and give cover to a group that wishes to affiliate itself with extremists.

But while the U.S. President can protect ATFP when it wishes to honor the PLO, he cannot protect the group from its own leadership, a leadership that has been comprised of terrorists and criminals.

ATFP was established in Washington, D.C. in 1995, under the name American Committee on Jerusalem (ACJ). It held its “inaugural public activity” in November of that year, a briefing given by the group’s then-President, Rashid Khalidi. Khalidi had previously been identified in news reports as “a PLO spokesman” and “a director of the Palestinian press agency, Wafa,” (Wikalat al-Anba al-Filastinija), which Khalidi himself has described as “the P.L.O.’s news agency [3].”

Eight years later, the group changed its name to the American Task Force on Palestine. On the ACJ site, in August 2003, the following message was found: “ACJ is now the American Task Force on Palestine (ATFP) [4]. Please visit our new website!” And the group provided a hyperlink to it, attached to a ‘thumb nail’ of the new ATFP site.

Immediately, though, the group would completely disown the ACJ. The same month, August 2003, the new website stated the following, “The American Task Force on Palestine (ATFP) was founded in 2003 as a 501(c)3 non-profit organization based in Washington, DC.” Yet, even the group’s current Washington, D.C. corporate status shows ATFP – as ATFP – incorporating in May 1995.


A number of the board members of the ACJ [5] stayed on with ATFP. They included ACJ Chairman Ziad Asali and ACJ President Rashid Khalidi, who became respectively ATFP’s President and Vice President. But one name of particular interest was left off of the new board, that being Abdurahman Alamoudi.

At the time that ATFP was being “founded,” Alamoudi was coming to the end of a terrorist plot to assassinate Saudi Crown Prince Abdullah using money obtained from foreign sources, including the Libyan government. On August 13, 2003, Alamoudi, while heading to Damascus, Syria, had $340,000 seized from him in London. On September 28, 2003, Alamoudi was arrested at Washington Dulles International Airport.

Alamoudi had been on the ACJ Executive Board for well over five years – of which a good part was spent involved in the terror plot – and the group’s name change could very well have taken effect due to the potential fallout from Alamoudi’s actions.

Another individual who suddenly left the ATFP’s board was Rafaat “Rafi” Dajani. Dajani was Executive Director of “both” ACJ and ATFP. That is, until he was caught robbing ATFP of over $100,000 in donations to the group and forging signatures on ‘thank-you’ letters to the donors. He was sentenced last May to eight years in prison.

And yet another was Tereq Salahi, who was named to ATFP’s Board of Directors [5] in July 2005. Salahi served on the board for well over four years, and he and his wife, Michaele, attended functions for the group that included a number of high profile diplomats. In one photo, which was taken during a December 2006 ATFP delegation trip to the Middle East, Tareq is pictured, along with ATFP President Ziad Asali, shaking hands with Mahmoud Abbas.

However, Salahi’s bio has now been removed from ATFP’s site. Salahi and his wife are currently the subjects of a criminal investigation into how the two were able to breach security in a successful attempt to gain access to the White House this past November. If it is determined that the Salahis knowingly made false statements to the Secret Service – a felony – the two could face up to five years in prison. When questioned by the Congressional Homeland Security Committee on January 21, 2009, they refused to testify.

Much has been made in the media of the Salahis being “gate crashers” and wannabe ‘reality TV’ stars, but little to no coverage has been given to their involvement with a group that associates frequently with a terrorist organization – a group whose own co-founder, Rashid Khalidi, was in the PLO himself. Though, as of March 2005, his bio and photo have been scrubbed from the ATFP website as well.

Question: Who else will leave the ranks of the radical ATFP?

In truth, it may not matter, because it seems, regardless of all the sinister individuals involved, the American Task Force on Palestine will continue to attract those sitting in the highest echelons of government, ready and willing to be used by the terror lobby.

Article printed from FrontPage Magazine:

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URLs in this post:

[1] allowing the participation at the gala:

[2] Presidential waivers circumventing its enforcement:

[3] the P.L.O.’s news agency:

[4] ACJ is now the American Task Force on Palestine (ATFP):

[5] board members of the ACJ:

[6] Image:

Obama Talks, Ahmadinejad Laughs

Obama Talks, Ahmadinejad Laughs

By Joel J. Sprayregen

Iranian President Ahmadinejad must have had a good laugh when he read the scant foreign policy section of President Obama’s State of the Union speech. How did Obama face Iranian efforts to produce nuclear weapons? Referring to negotiations seeking to reduce American and Russian nuclear arsenals, Obama said:
These diplomatic efforts have strengthened our hand in dealing with those nations that insist on violating international agreements in pursuit of nuclear weapons. … That’s why the international community is more united, and the Islamic Republic is more isolated. And as Iran’s leaders continue to ignore their obligations, there should be no doubt. They, too, will face growing consequences. That is a promise.
When measured against reality, Obama’s remarks are delusional. He campaigned on a promise to “engage” Iran into giving up its nuclear pursuit. Iran consistently rebuffed “engagement” with grim contempt and was revealed to have established hidden enrichment facilities. Obama set shifting deadlines for Iranian compliance with Security Council resolutions. With the advent of a new year, all these deadlines have expired. And Obama is reduced to threatening “growing consequences.” These words are guaranteed to be received contemptuously by a regime which murders its own citizens and supplies weapons to terrorists to kill American soldiers. Nor did Obama utter a word in support of Iranian protesters who are being tortured, raped, and killed. 
Obama mocked by reality
Is it true, as Obama contended, that “the international community is more united, and the Islamic Republic is more isolated”? Obama knows that the Russians and Chinese would veto any meaningful sanctions in the Security Council. This is egregious in the case of Russia because Obama rewarded Moscow — without obtaining anything in return — when he reneged on America’s commitment to establish missile defenses in Poland and the Czech Republic. While Obama has dithered in the face of Iranian defiance, Turkey — formerly but no longer an American ally — announced that it has no problem with Iran going nuclear. This blow to American policy is partly attributable to the Islamism of Turkey’s AKP regime, which seeks to reverse the secular nature of the country. But it also flows from the reality that in the harsh world of the Middle East, you are judged by what you do rather than by your apologies. The Turks, who are members of the Security Council, see Obama as a loser and Ahmadinejad as a winner.
Obama’s assertion that the “the international community is more united” is mocked by reality. Obama delayed congressional action on Iran sanctions until France next month takes over from China the rotating Security Council presidency. But French President Sarkozy was livid when Obama used his unprecedented chairing of a Security Council session last September to pass a non-binding, pie-in-the-sky resolution about eventual universal nuclear disarmament. Sarkozy, concluding that Obama squandered an opportunity for effective action against Iran, said, “We live in the real world, not the virtual world. The real world expects us to make decisions. President Obama dreams of a world without weapons. But right in front of us, two countries are doing the exact opposite. Iran since 2005 has flouted five Security Council resolutions and threatened to wipe a U.N. member state off the map.” Ironically, Obama now seeks help from France. 
Retreat as a goal
In discussing two wars which our military is fighting, Obama emphasized that in Afghanistan, “in July of 2011 our troops can begin to come home,” and in Iraq, “all of our troops are coming home.” To this president, retreat is not only a strategy, but it appears to be our goal. There was neither mention of victory nor of building democracy. Obama is advertising to the terrorists: Content yourself with hit-and-run attacks because the Americans will soon be gone. Obama did not tell us how he will protect Americans from accelerating homefront terrorism, a subject he preferred to avoid after the blunder of Mirandizing the Christmas bomber before effective interrogation. Obama should be made to pay for his myopia about Islamic terrorism by the Senate’s denying him the funds to bring the Guantánamo prisoners to our mainland and to try Khalid Sheikh Mohamed in New York. (NOTE: This was written before the announcement that Obama is reconsidering trying KSM in New York; is Obama accessing our columns before they are published?)
Another dysfunction in Obama’s world view is that he harbors contempt for leaders of two democracies which are vitally engaged in defense against terrorism. One is Britain, whose forces have sustained substantial casualties in Iraq and Afghanistan while facing domestic terrorism from native-born Muslims. The other is Israel, which Obama could not mention because his missteps made him the only president who prevented Israelis and Palestinians from talking to each other. Thus, Obama gives us the novelty of a foreign policy address which mentions neither of these two allies.
The world takes a second look at Obama
Make no mistake. A world which greeted the Obama presidency with hope is waking up to the reality that what passes for his foreign policy is scandalous. A salient example is the peroration in the London Telegraph column of Nile Gardiner, a Washington-based foreign policy analyst who appears on CNN, BBC and NPR: 
For the hundreds of millions of people across the world, from Burma to Sudan to Zimbabwe, clamoring to be free of oppression, there was not a shred of hope offered in Barack Obama’s address. Obama’s world leadership in his first year in office has been weak-kneed and little short of disastrous. He has sacrificed the projection of American power upon the altar of political vanity, with empty speeches and groveling apologies across the world, from Strasbourg to Cairo. He has appeased some of America’s worst enemies, and extended the hand of friendship to many of the most odious regimes on the face of the earth. Judging by the State of the Union address, we can expect more of the same from an American president who seems determined to lead the world’s greatest power along a path of decline.
We should be grateful that Obama kept this part of his speech brief and thus did not inflict greater damage on  hope for coherent American foreign policy, which leads the world by aligning with like-minded countries to build democracy and combat terrorism.

Page Printed from: at January 31, 2010 – 12:42:24 PM CST

Global warming science implodes overseas: American media silent

Global warming science implodes overseas: American media silent

Rick Moran

The revelations have been nothing short of jaw dropping. Dozens – yes dozens – of claims made in the IPCC 2007 report on climate change that was supposed to represent the “consensus” of 2500 of the world’s climate scientists have been shown to be bogus, or faulty, or not properly vetted, or simply pulled out of thin air.

We know this because newspapers in Great Britain are doing their job; vetting the 2007 report item by item, coming up with shocking news about global warming claims that formed the basis of argument by climate change advocates who were pressuring the US and western industrialized democracies to transfer trillions of dollars in wealth to the third world and cede sovereignty to the UN.

tempgate, icegate, and now, disappearing Amazon forests not the result of warming, but of logging. And the report the IPCC based their bogus “science” on was written by a food safety advocate according to this Christopher Booker piece in the Telegraph :

Dr North next uncovered “Amazongate”. The IPCC made a prominent claim in its 2007 report, again citing the WWF as its authority, that climate change could endanger “up to 40 per cent” of the Amazon rainforest – as iconic to warmists as those Himalayan glaciers and polar bears. This WWF report, it turned out, was co-authored by Andy Rowell, an anti-smoking and food safety campaigner who has worked for WWF and Greenpeace, and contributed pieces to Britain’s two most committed environmentalist newspapers. Rowell and his co-author claimed their findings were based on an article in Nature. But the focus of that piece, it emerges, was not global warming at all but the effects of logging.A Canadian analyst has identified more than 20 passages in the IPCC’s report which cite similarly non-peer-reviewed WWF or Greenpeace reports as their authority, and other researchers have been uncovering a host of similarly dubious claims and attributions all through the report. These range from groundless allegations about the increased frequency of “extreme weather events” such as hurricanes, droughts and heatwaves, to a headline claim that global warming would put billions of people at the mercy of water shortages – when the study cited as its authority indicated exactly the opposite, that rising temperatures could increase the supply of water.

This is a great story. It has everything a media outlet could desire; scandal, conflict of interest (IPCC head Pauchuri runs companies that benefited from climate scare stories), government cover ups – why then, has this unraveling of the basis of climate science that posited catastrophic man made warming not been making any news at all in the United States?

It’s too easy to simply claim “bias.” Media outlets don’t pass up juicy stories that could potentially increase their readership and revenue for ideological purposes (except the New York Times – and even they could spin all of this to show skeptics to be using flawed arguments like the liberal Guardian is doing in England).

Perhaps its time to ask why this story being revealed overseas with new revelations almost daily in the Daily Mail, the Telegraph, the Timesonline, and other Fleet Street publications can’t get any traction here. Blogs like Watts up with That and Climate Depot are keeping us informed of the latest from England but we hear crickets chirping when it comes to stories from major newspapers and – outside of Fox News – the cable nets.

As global warming the political movement is losing its scientific justification, the American people – who will be asked to foot the bill to the tune of trillions of dollars if Obama goes ahead with his “green” plans – are grossly uninformed about the state of the debate. Until the media starts to give this story the coverage it deserves, that state of affairs will not change.

Page Printed from: at January 31, 2010 – 12:38:44 PM CST

What’s Wrong with Celebrating Life?

What’s Wrong with Celebrating Life?

By Bob Weir

University of Florida quarterback Tim Tebow hasn’t even made it to the NFL yet, but he is going to be a star of the Super Bowl. The Heisman Trophy-winning passer for the Florida Gators is the first college football player to both rush and pass for twenty touchdowns in a season, and he is the first sophomore to win the highly coveted trophy. Nevertheless, his recent fame comes from an ad that will be placed among dozens of others during one of the most popular televised events of the year.

Even though the ad won’t be run until Super Bowl Sunday on February 7, Mr. Tebow is already becoming a household name. His premature celebrity comes not from his athletic ability on the gridiron, but from the mere fact that he’s alive. You see, during the thirty-second spot, his mother Pam reportedly will be talking about the fact that she became ill while pregnant with her fifth son during a mission in the Philippines. Ms. Tebow repudiated her doctor’s advice to abort the child, and she gave birth to Tim. Ordinarily, this would rank up there with many other heart-warming success stories that celebrate life.
However, abortion proponents don’t view life as something to celebrate. Hence, they are protesting the decision by CBS Television to broadcast the $2.5-million ad, which is sponsored by and paid for by Focus on the Family. “An ad that uses sports to divide rather than to unite has no place in the biggest national sports event of the year; an event designed to bring Americans together,” said Jehmu Greene, president of the New York-based Women’s Media Center. Also joining in the protest are the National Organization for Women and the Feminist Majority.
You’ve got to admit that these pro-abortion groups become more contemptible every year. Apparently, it’s not enough for them to advocate the killing of fetuses in the womb, even by means of that most despicable of procedures, the late-term abortion. It’s not enough that millions of unborn babies have ended up in waste disposal systems across the country since the Supreme Court in 1973 gave women the right to decide if a child should live or die.
Now, in 2010, women who made the decision to give birth to their children are being criticized for celebrating their views regarding the sanctity of life. One protest letter from The Women’s Media Center took some vicious shots at the sponsoring organization and included some threats toward CBS about viewership.
By offering one of the most coveted advertising spots of the year to an anti-equality, anti-choice, homophobic organization, CBS is aligning itself with a political stance that will damage its reputation, alienate viewers, and discourage consumers from supporting its shows and advertisers.
In thinly veiled language, that means the pro-abortion crowd will attempt to boycott the network for allowing a mother to extol the virtues of her decision to choose life. Keep in mind that these are the people who call themselves pro-choice. Evidently, the only choice they agree with is abortion. That’s why I refer to them as pro-abortion, not pro-choice.
During a radio talk show interview, Ms. Greene railed against the network and the sponsor of the ad, while fraudulently claiming that seventy percent of Americans are in favor of Roe v. Wade. The host quickly corrected her by citing surveys from the New York Times, hardly a bastion of conservatism, which indicated that people are now evenly divided on the abortion issue. Inasmuch as Ms. Greene had been caught trying to spread some false propaganda on the airwaves; she backed off and went into another diatribe about inequality and homophobia. The host then asked why she didn’t simply find a sponsor for an ad that celebrates her group’s position.
Can you imagine a commercial broadcast to tens of millions of families, telling them how important it is for women to choose to abort their babies? Even some of the groups that have a benign reputation in the pro-abortion arena would have a tough time trying to make such an ad seem civilized. Instead of trying to find a receptive audience for their negative and cynical approach to life, they’d rather impugn the motives of those who proudly announce to the world that they will staunchly support the rights of the most vulnerable among us — the unborn. CBS is to be applauded for their courage in refusing to knuckle under to threats and intimidation from these radical groups who have had their way for too long. Moreover, Pam Tebow, her son Tim, and Focus on the Family are to be especially congratulated for celebrating the gift of life. 

Bob Weir is a former detective sergeant in the New York City Police Department. He is the executive editor of The News Connection in Highland Village, Texas. E-mail Bob.

Page Printed from: at January 31, 2010 – 12:36:50 PM CST

Republicans eye high-profile US Senate races

Republicans eye high-profile US Senate races

By Hal Weitzman in Chicago

Published: January 29 2010 17:11 | Last updated: January 29 2010 17:11

Congratulatory signs in the streets after Barack Obama wins 2008’s US elections
Congratulatory signs in the streets after Barack Obama wins 2008’s US elections. The president’s former Senate seat in Illinois is under threat


As a candidate, Barack Obama was fond of saying that there were no “red states” or “blue states” – only the United States. His adage may be starting to prove itself, although not quite as he intended.

When the Republicans won Ted Kennedy’s former Senate seat in Massachusetts this month, they demonstrated they could win even in one of the most Democratic or “bluest” states. Now the Grand Old Party is focused on another prize – Mr Obama’s former Senate seat in Illinois.

“For the first time in a long time, the Republicans have a good chance of winning this Senate seat,” says Paul Green, a professor of policy studies at Roosevelt University in Chicago.

The Illinois race is part of a larger national trend. Capitalising on the anger and frustration voters expressed in Massachusetts, Republicans are targeting a string of high-profile seats they see as vulnerable in the mid-term elections in November.

Obama and the GOP


Among them are Vice-President Joe Biden’s former Senate seat in Delaware and the Nevada seat occupied by Harry Reid, the Democratic Senate leader. The GOP’s aim is not only to gain strength on Capitol Hill but also to embarrass the Obama administration.

Illinois will come into focus on Tuesday, when the state holds the US’s first primaries to select candidates for the mid-terms. The Senate hopefuls are chasing a position that has already come to national attention: in 2008, Rod Blagojevich, the former governor of Illinois, allegedly tried to sell the seat . He was subsequently impeached and is due to stand trial for corruption in June.

The ensuing brouhaha is one reason the Democrats may lose in Illinois, where no Republicans hold statewide office. The state’s unemployment level is also well above the national average. Moreover, the financial woes that have hit many US states are acute in Illinois, whose budget crisis is second only to California.

“Massachusetts was a national referendum. In Illinois, it’s going to be focused on the local issues – corruption and this financial mess,” says Pat Brady, chairman of the state Republican party.

The Republicans are blessed with a strong candidate: Mark Kirk, a five-term Congressman and Naval officer still active in the reserves (he returned this month from his second tour of duty in Afghanistan). Mr Kirk is all but certain to win Tuesday’s GOP primary.

A moderate with appeal to the independents who polls suggest are wavering in their support for the Democrats, he has alienated the more conservative “Tea Party” wing of his party. Last year he tried unsuccessfully to secure backing from Sarah Palin, the former vice-presidential candidate and erstwhile governor of Alaska, when she was in Chicago. Nevertheless, faced with the enticing prospect of humiliating Mr Obama, the Tea Party-goers are likely to support him.

The Democratic field is more fragmented. Alexi Giannoulias, the state’s 33-year-old treasurer, leads in the polls. A basketball buddy and protégé of Mr Obama, Mr Giannoulias has tied himself closely to the president, whom he mentions frequently in speeches.

He concedes the Democrats may find the going difficult in November “given the mood, given how people feel about Washington”, but says he is hoping to concentrate on the issues. That seems unlikely, given that he is already looking beyond the primaries and attacking Mr Kirk’s record of taking contributions from corporations.

Although Mr Obama endorsed Mr Giannoulias’s campaign for treasurer, he was not the president’s top choice to run in the primary. In a sign that he was concerned about Illinois long before the special election in Massachusetts, the president summoned Lisa Madigan, the state’s attorney-general, to the White House last year and asked her to run for the seat.

She declined and several other high-profile Democrats have also ruled themselves out.

Mr Giannoulias has baggage as the scion of a Chicago banking family that lent money to both Michael Giorango, a convicted bookmaker and prostitution-ring promoter, and Tony Rezko, a convicted fundraiser for Mr Blagojevich.

He has also been accused of mismanagement of a pre-paid college tuition fund he re-organised.

Although there is no suggestion of wrongdoing or illegality, this has been useful fodder for Mr Giannoulias’s main rivals but Mr Giannoulias is the only Democrat who can beat Mr Kirk, according to a survey released this week by Public Policy Polling.

Commentators highlight that it might not be such a surprise if the Republican wins. The seat was held by a Republican immediately before Mr Obama. When Mr Blagojevich was elected in 2002, he was the first Democratic governor in three decades.

But that will be scant consolation to the Democrats anxiously surveying the public fractious mood.

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MSU prof’s e-mail outrages Muslims– good for the prof. no more PC

MSU prof’s e-mail outrages Muslims

Muslim students want Indrek Wichman to be disciplined. The University, at least for now, is reminding them of a little thing called freedom of speech. Of course, given the pattern of events over the last few years in the U.S. and Europe, I wouldn’t be in the least surprised if they caved before too long and reprimanded, suspended, or even fired Wichman.

Meanwhile, what did he say? He told Muslims mounting a Cartoon Rage protest that Islamic jihad murders were worse than a few cartoons. He said it in strong language. But what he said was true: everything he mentioned was true and has been reported here at Jihad Watch (Mr. Wichman, if you are a reader, my hat is off to you).

From the Detroit Free Press, with thanks to all who sent this in, here is the text of Wichman’s email:

Dear Moslem Association: As a professor of Mechanical Engineering here at MSU I intened to protest your protest.I am offended not by cartoons, but by more mundane things like beheadings of civilians, cowardly attacks on public buildings, suicide murders, murders of Catholic priests (the latest in Turkey!), burnings of Christian chirches, the continued persecution of Coptic Christians in Egypt, the imposition of Sharia law on non-Muslims, the rapes of Scandinavain girls and women (called “whores” in your culture), the murder of film directors in Holland, and the rioting and looting in Paris France.

This is what offends me, a soft-spoken person and academic, and many, many, many of my colleagues. I counsul you dissatisfied, agressive, brutal, and uncivilized slave-trading Moslems to be very aware of this as you proceed with your infantile “protests.”

If you do not like the values of the West — see the 1st Ammendment — you are free to leave. I hope for God’s sake that most of you choose that option. Please return to your ancestral homelands and build them up yourselves instead of troubling Americans.

Cordially, I. S. Wichman, Professor of Mechanical Engineering


And here are selections from the Free Press’s story on the fallout:

An Islamic student group at Michigan State University demanded Monday that university officials publicly reprimand a professor whose Feb. 28 e-mail called on Muslims who don’t “like the values of the West” to leave the United States.

That’s a funny lead. I suppose they are demanding that Muslims who don’t like the values of the West should not be free to leave?

Of course, what they really mean is that non-Muslims who realize that there are Muslims in the West who don’t like the values of the West should above all not suggest that those Muslims should leave the West. Instead, non-Muslims should acquiesce peacefully while those Muslims set about to transform the values of those Western societies.

But MSU officials said there’s little that can be done to punish Indrek Wichman, 55, a tenured professor of mechanical engineering, because his comments essentially constitute free speech. Wichman sent the message to the Muslim Students’ Association of Michigan State University while it handed out free cocoa during a public awareness event about controversial cartoons that depicted Islam’s founder as a terrorist….The Muslim Students’ Association, along with 12 other student and advocacy groups, called Monday for the university to issue a letter of reprimand. They have met several times with university officials since Feb. 28 and went public with the e-mail Monday because the school had not acted.

Terry Denbow, spokesman for MSU, said Wichman’s views in no way represent the university’s views. But, he said, they do not violate the university’s antidiscrimination policy.

“He was cautioned that any additional commentary … could constitute the creation of a hostile environment, and that could … form the basis of a complaint” under the policy, Denbow said.

He said he considers the comments “very inappropriate. And I personally wish he would apologize to the students.”

To Farhan Abdul Azeez, an MSU senior studying human biology and the president of the student association, the e-mail was startling.

“Naturally, I was very upset. I was disgusted. All of those emotions went through my body,” said Azeez, 20, of Canton.

In addition to a reprimand, the student group wants the university to implement diversity training programs for faculty and a mandatory freshman seminar on hate and discrimination.

“The best way to limit or to kind of defuse hate is through education, no doubt,” said Maryam Khalil, 18, a sophomore from East Lansing studying journalism. Khalil is vice president of the association.


No, Maryam. The best way to limit or to kind of defuse hate is for Muslims to stop committing the violent acts to which Wichman refers, and justifying them by Islamic teachings. Those who do not commit violent acts should be directing their energies to those who are, and trying to convince them to stop. As well as working with non-Muslims to root jihad terrorists out of their communities.

If Muslims did that, they would find non-Muslims would have significantly less of what they think of as “hatred” for them, but which is actually a normal impulse for self-defense.

Denbow said discussions with students about sensitivity training are ongoing.”We’re not only willing to, but eager to listen to the students. Their commentary to date has been thoughtful,” Denbow said.

Reached at home Monday evening, Wichman said he had regrets.

“I used strong language in a private communication that I would certainly not have used if this communication would have gone public,” he said.

But he stressed the importance of free speech.

“I believe very strongly in free speech and free expression. It is one of the building blocks of this great republic in which we live. And any attempts to abridge or diminish it are serious matters.”

The Michigan chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations also is urging the university to take “appropriate disciplinary” action, saying the e-mail creates a hostile learning environment for students.


I hope Wichman or someone there will point out that the true nature of CAIR.

“It was upsetting, yet sad” that a tenured professor could make such comments, said Dawud Walid, executive director of the council. “It’s scary when you think about the power that this gentleman has” as a professor.Walid said that MSU has the academic and moral obligation to publicly denounce the e-mail, conduct a formal investigation and have sensitivity training on how to deal with Muslims on campus.

The university should “strongly and publicly disassociate themselves from the statement,” Walid said.

Azeez said education is most important.

“There’s a bigger problem here of racism and discrimination at Michigan State University. Faculty training and sensitivity training are very important to help prevent future incidents like this from occurring,” he said.


I would like Walid and Azeez to explain what in Wichman’s statement was false. The worst part of it is his reference to “you dissatisfied, agressive, brutal, and uncivilized slave-trading Moslems.” But CAIR and the Muslims at MSU must recognize that there are Muslims in the world — and not a few — who are behaving with aggression and brutality. And the slave trade exists today only in certain Muslim countries. They should be devoting their efforts to eradicating these evils from the umma, not to protesting cartoons and the unfortunate Professor Wichman.

Let Me Be Clear: Cartoon of the Day