Middle East studies in the News
Was the Recent Murder of a College Professor Another Act of Islamic Terrorism? [on Richard Antoun]
by Dave Gibson
On Saturday, Binghamton University grad student Abdulsalam al-Zahrani, 46, was charged with Friday's murder of anthropology professor Richard T. Antoun.
The Saudi national is accused of entering Antoun's office at Binghamton University and stabbing the 77-year-old professor to death with a kitchen knife. Police say that al-Zahrani was still in the building when they arrived.
Witnesses told reporters that when police officers asked al-Zahrani about Antoun, he said, "Yeah, I just stabbed him."
Broome County District Attorney Gerald Mollen was very quick to rule out Islamic extremism as a factor in the murder, saying: "There is no indication of religious or ethnic motivation."
However, his former roommate, Luis Pena, said that al-Zahrani had complained about being persecuted for his Islamic beliefs. Pena also said that he heard him say: "I just feel like destroying the world."
Professor Antoun who had written several books about the Middle East, was a peace activist and often spoke about tolerance and understanding for other cultures and religions. One of his books, published in 2001, was entitled "Understanding Fundamentalism: Christian, Islamic and Jewish Movements."
Antoun's sister Linda Miller, told the New York Times: "He dedicated his life to trying to understand the people of the Middle East. He never said an unkind word to anyone in his life."
Working on his dissertation, al-Zahrani was studying pre-11th century Muslim scholars. He is currently being held without bail.
*Reporter's note: Time and time again, we have watched public officials quickly describe murderous attacks as being the act of a so-called 'lone nut,' and dismiss radical Islam as the motivating factor, even before all of the facts of the case are known. We have watched this politically-correct phenomena, often, only to discover later that it was in fact, an act of Muslim terrorism.
Most recently, Army officials initially said that the Fort Hood shootings were not an act of terrorism, even as witnesses claimed that the alleged shooter, Maj. Nidal Hasan, shouted Allah Akbar!, as he fired on his unarmed victims.
If our police and prosecutors are so consumed with the fear that they may offend one group or another, that they cannot even consider ethnic or religious hatred as a motivating factor…How can we expect them to protect us?Note: Articles listed under "Middle East studies in the News" provide information on current developments concerning Middle East studies on North American campuses. These reports do not necessarily reflect the views of Campus Watch and do not necessarily correspond to Campus Watch's critique.
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