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Jewish World Review
Jan. 29, 2004
/ 6 Teves, 5764
Hamas in the classroom: A response
Daniel Pipes & Asaf Romirowsky
After this site published an article questioning why an alleged Hamas sympathizer was being paid by taxpayers to teach a course on Islam at a university, our readers flooded the school with mail questioning their sense of reality. Below, the authors defend themselves from an angry institution's charges.
January 28, 2004
President Frank T. Brogan
Florida Atlantic University
777 Glades Road
Boca Raton, Florida 33431
Dear Mr. Brogan:
We read your two press releases of yesterday … concerning the matter of Mustafa Abu Sway's ties to Hamas, a proscribed organization in the United States.
We are pleased to learn that you are taking steps to investigate this matter, that you "notified the State Department of Mr. Pipes' allegations," and also "forwarded to the State Department and the coordinators of the Fulbright Program" our previous allegations.
However, we wish you had taken these actions following our first article on the Abu Sway matter, published on October 20, 2003 ... At that time, unfortunately, you were quoted in the Palm Beach Post saying "at this point we have no reason to take any action" (http://www.campus-watch.org/article/id/829).
There are other problems. We have it on good authority that the Fulbright program, a part of the Department of State, far from engaging in "rigorous background and security checks," has relied on FAU to check out Mustafa Abu Sway. When FAU informs us that it relies on the State Department for this service, we see a circuitous passing of the buck that leaves us anxious.
Further, the Department of State is not the agency to refer to for domestic security. That is the bailiwick of the Department of Homeland Security, the federal agency tasked with preventing terrorism in the United States.
It is also necessary for us to point out that FAU's claim that "received notice from New York Post columnist Daniel Pipes" (http://danielpipes.org/article/1487) about our forthcoming article is erroneous; a note was sent to Abu Sway asking for his comments. It was not sent to FAU. And Daniel Pipes has not been a New York Post columnist for three months now.
Your characterization of our criticism as "shrill" is unbecoming the dignity of Florida Atlantic University. At no point have we engaged in ad hominem attacks on you or your colleagues; we urge you not to characterize our work to protect the country from Islamist terrorism in this offensive way.
As president of a large state university, you have a solemn obligation not just to ensure the safety of your institution but to the country as a whole. You are assuring the public that you have acted "with due diligence and an abundance of caution" but we believe otherwise so long as you are employing someone directly associated with terrorism. We urge to deal with this matter seriously and urgently.
Daniel Pipes and Asaf Romirowsky
Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in Washington and in the media consider "must reading."
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JWR contributor Daniel Pipes is director of the Middle East Forum and the author of several books, most recently Militant Islam Reaches America. Asaf Romirowsky is a research associate at the institute.
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© 2004, Daniel Pipes