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Jewish World Review Sept. 20, 2002 / 14 Tishrei, 5763

Benjamin Shapiro

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Terrorists at our universities | 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:

  • "Race and racism are deeply rooted in the very foundations of American society and the collective American psyche."

  • "With the coming of death into this country, the U.S. has entered Afghanistan so as to once again rob the world of its innocent lives."

  • "Whether we behold the truth of this or not, Allah is King of moments. It doesn't matter if Israel is well-financed, Serbia militarily superior, or U.S. imperialism too powerful. Allah can change the state of affairs in a moment."

  • "The truth is, our Western world is not quite the paradigm of freedom and equality of which we're taught to sing in our national anthem."

  • The magazine also calls Osama Bin-Ladin a "prominent Muslim activist" and jokes about changing the name of the magazine to "Al-Taliban."

It is a fallacy that only those who are poor and subjugated will attack American interests. Many suicide bombers against Israel were medical and college students, highly educated Muslims whose love of education was exceeded by their love of death.

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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09/11/02: Without religion, 9/11 is only the beginning
09/05/02: A Reaganesque appeal on Iraq
08/23/02: Are we we're returning to the Cold War?
08/15/02: She is the cause of West Nile Virus deaths
08/07/02: Keep baseball American
08/01/02: There oughta be a law
07/25/02: "Civilian casualty" whiners
07/19/02: Johnny Taliban at UCLA
07/17/02: Bond, as in "bondage"
07/03/02: Our national anthem
06/28/02: Letter from Palestine?
06/24/02: Are the Ivy Leagues contributing to America's insecurity?
06/13/02: Hollyweird is whitewashing Arab terrorism and we reward them

© 2002, Creators Syndicate