Jewish World Review Sept. 20, 2002 / 14 Tishrei, 5763
http://www.NewsAndOpinion.com | American education isn't a cure-all. The U.S. government thinks it can appease young Muslims by offering them student visas to attend American universities. Education, the government says, will pave the way for future relations between foreign Muslims and Americans.
Only one problem: It doesn't work. Muslims studying at colleges across America are funneling money to terrorist groups around the world. And no matter how much liberty we promise these students, they will still hate us.
The media doesn't get it. Three Muslim men were arrested and released after a woman reported them to the police for making suspicious remarks about Sept. 11 and a possible future attack on Sept. 13. The media zeroed in on one fact in their biographies: not their religion but their educational background.
"Medical students," each report stated; "medical students," the headlines blared. The Muslim men even tried to justify their behavior by citing their educational status. "We value human life," stated Ayman Gheith, one of the men, "and that is why we chose to become doctors."
I am a university student, and bringing in foreign students in the hopes of converting them to pro-Americanism does a disservice to the campus and to the society at large. On campus, the America-haters do not think about the opportunity the American government is giving them to learn in a place of freedom. They promote their views.
The Muslim Student Association, a national campus group seeking to promote Muslim solidarity and Islamic causes, has been linked to funding for terrorist groups. It has given money to the Holy Land Foundation, a terrorist-funding front charity, among others. Yet MSA leaders defend the donations. "Nothing has been proven in a court of law yet," says Bilal Khan of MSA at the University of California at Los Angeles.
Al-Talib, the UCLA Muslim student newsmagazine, is funded by the tuition money of UCLA students. A few quotes from the magazine should suffice to demonstrate just how patriotic the staff members' American education has made them:
In America, the same concept applies. While benefiting from the state-sponsored educational opportunities many Americans do not have, foreign students plan acts of terror.
At UCLA, many student magazine offices are lined up side by side in the same hallway, meaning that the Muslim newsmagazine is across the hall from an office I often visit. One of my friends was in the office late at night, doing homework, when she heard voices emanating from the Al-Talib office. As she relates, the conversation went as follows:
"So, I'm going to do it and then go into hiding for two years," said a man.
"Really? Where are you going to get the weapons?" another man asked.
"You should get them from China. They're cheaper."
I asked my friend if she thought they were joking. "No," she said. "I thought that at first also. But they weren't laughing -- I'm pretty sure they sounded serious." She was still hesitant about calling the FBI, though, for fear of being labeled a racist. So I called for her. "We get these all the time," the FBI operator said, "but we'll be over in 15 minutes to interview her." I stepped out of the room when the FBI came, but I found out later that they could do nothing since she hadn't gotten a look at the men.
If the government insists on promoting American education as the solution to international hatred, more and more future terrorists will continue pouring into our universities. And the FBI won't be able to do anything to stop them, either.
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