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October 11, 1988 - Image 4

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The Michigan Daily, 1988-10-11

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4

OPINION
Page 4 Tuesday, October 11, 1988

The Michigan Daily

4

Edited and managed by students at The University of Michigan
420 Maynard St.
Vol. IC, No.24 Ann Arbor, MI 48109
Unsigned editorials represent a majority of the Daily's Editorial Board. All other
cartoons, signed articles, and letters do not necessarily represent the opinion
of the Daily.
Support the struggle

Religion not

to blame

"Your struggle is mine, your victory
y Aours."
--South African detainee, impris-
" oned for nine months without charge.
TODAY marks the anniversary the
1963 United Nations General Assem-
bly demand that South Africa uncondi-
tionally release all persons imprisoned,
interned, or subjected to other restric-
tions for opposing apartheid. The Day
of Solidarity with South African
Political Prisoners was officially
designated in 1976 by the U.N.
Because of the government imposed
press blackout, South Africans are in-
creasingly concerned that the world has
forgotten their struggle. It is urgent that
we take part in the international cam-
paign for solidarity with South Africa's
detainees and political prisoners.
Every 12 minutes, a person is de-
tained in South Africa. Prior to its ban-
ning on February 24, 1988, the De-
tainees' Parents Support Committee
(DPSC), estimated that at least 30,000
people have been detained since June
12,1986 when the state of emergency
was declared.
The detentions are aimed at breaking
the spirit of the resisters. Torture, as-
sault, and other forms of physical
abuse are central to this policy. In
1986, the Institute of Criminology at
the University of Cape Town published
a study concluding that four of every
five detainees interviewed had been
physically tortured, and that all had
been psychologically abused or tor-
tured.
Information on the state of political
prisoners and detainees is scarce. Po-
lice are not required to release the
names of detainees, and under the
terms of the state of emergency, the
media is not allowed to report their
names unless granted permission by
the Ministry of Law and Order.
It is estimated that up to 500 children,
under the age of 18, are still being de-
tained under the state of emergency.

Children have also been charged with
political crimes ranging from stone-
throwing to murder. One eight-year old
was arrested, charged with "intimid-
ation" and denied bail.
According to the South African gov-
ernment, the number of political pris-
oners - those who have had a trial and
been sentenced - was estimated at
over 330 in 1985. This does not in-
clude those jailed on the homelands,
nor political prisoners convicted of of-
fenses other than "serious crimes
against the security of the state."
Under South Africa's wide range of
repressive laws, opponents of the
apartheid system can be sentenced to
long prison terms, including life im-
prisonment, or even death.
However, international pressure on
the South African government has
positively affected the treatment and
sentencing of political prisoners. Re-
cently, the Botha regime postponed the
execution of six prisoners, known as
the "Sharpeville Six." As a result of
international outcry, the case is being
re-tried.
Outcry has also been raised over the
24-year imprisonment of Nelson Man-
dela, a leader of the banned African
National Congress. Mandela symbol-
izes the struggle for liberation by all
South Africans. The cry "Free Nelson
Mandela" is a cry to free all South
Africans from the unjust system of
apartheid.
South Africans are sacrificing their
lives in order to attain freedom. We
must work in solidarity with their
struggle by pressuring the U.S. gov-
ernment to demand the release of all
political prisoners and impose manda-
tory comprehensive sanctions on South
Africa.
Tonight at 7 p.m. in MLB Aud. 4 the
UCAR/Baker-Mandela Center Film
Series begins with "From Berkeley to
Soweto" a film on the international
anti-apartheid movement. Following
the film will be a discussion on South
African Political Prisoners.

By Muzammil Ahmed
An ad put out by the American Com-
mittee for Student Information appeared in
the September 30 issue of the Daily
declaring, "Traditional attitudes of Islam
towards the Jews, not territorial disputes,
are the real roots of the Arab-Israeli con-
flict." This misinformation seeks not only
to demean the legitimate struggle of the
Palestinian people into a mere expression
of anti-Jewishness, but also to discredit
Islam.
In the past eight months, Israeli troops
have killed more than 250 Palestinian
civilians. It has continued to destroy
Palestinian homes on whim, and Pales-
tinians schools are forcibly closed. Any
Palestinian can be arrested without charge
and held for six months, and Israel contin-
ues to find and illegally deport new
"leaders" of the Palestinian uprising. All
of this in response to the Palestinian In-
tifadah which still shows no signs of wa-
vering.
Palestinians are not engaged in this re-
sistance because they hate Jews, but be-
cause they want to break free of an
oppressive regime. The dream of a Pales-
tinian state has been fostered by the re-
pression and exclusion at the hands of Is-
rael. This dream has taken on a religious
fervor because of the role Islam has had in
bringing on the latest round of uprisings.
Just as the early Black civil rights
movement in the United States revolved
around the church, so too are the demon-
strations of the occupied territories
revolving around the Muslim mosques.
The mosque is one of the only places a
large number of Palestinian men and
women can gather in the occupied territo-
ries; due to this constraint, the mosques
Muzammil Ahmed is an Opinion Page
staff member.

have taken on the role of creating social
change by inciting protest and anger.
While it is true that much anti-Jewish
rhetoric is used by frustrated Arab leaders
against the self-proclaimed Jewish state,
this is not a reflection of "Islamic atti-
tude."
First, since Judaism and Islam are both
considered Semitic religions, the Quran
proclaims, "Lo, those who believe (in Is-
lam), and those who are Jews, and
Sabaeans, and Christians - whoever be-
lieves in the Last Day and does right -
there shall no fear come upon them, nor
shall they grieve." (5:69). This indicates
that the ACSI has no basis for claiming
Islam preaches hatred towards Jews.
The two verses that the ACSI cited to
substantiate their claim referred in one case
specifically to a tribe of Jews who be-
lieved Ezra is the son of God (Quran
9:30), and in the other case, to any group
claiming that God's hands are "fettered"

Iberian Peninsula and elsewhere. Hasdai
ben Shapirut was a prominent Jewish
Prime Minister in Cordoba under Abd al
Rahman III. During the several centuries
of Muslim rule, Hebrew acquired its first
grammar, and Jewish arts and sciences rose
to new heights. If Islam were anti-Jewish,
none of these achievements would have
been possible under Muslim rule.
It should be no surprise that almost all
Muslims around the world show solidarity
with the Palestinian struggle. We are ob-
ligated to support liberation movements
around the world since the Quran admon-
ishes:
"What has happened to you? Why
don't you fight in the way of God
in support of men, women, and
children, whom finding (weak), the
oppressors have (repressed); and
who pray, 'Oh, God, liberate us
from this habituation which is ruled
by tyrants.' " (4:75).

"Just as the early Black civil rights movement in the United:
States revolved around the church, so too are the demon-
strations of the occupied territories revolving around the Mus-
lim mosques."

(Quran 5:64). Both incidences were in-
tended to show that God is displeased -
to say the least -with anyone who makes
these assertions.
Second, Arab leaders by no stretch of
the definition constitute "Muslim leaders"
as the ACSI implies. Arabs are a minority
of the Muslim world, comprising approx-
imately ten percent of the total Muslim
population. Most of the world's Muslims
are in Indonesia, followed by China and
Pakistan. The Arab "leaders" speak for
themselves; their anti-Jewish statements
are not indicative of Islam.
Third, Jewish culture and identity
flourished under Muslim rule in the

The fact that most Palestinians are Mus=
lim elicits stronger worldwide Muslim
support.
The ACSI ad attempts to free Israel of
the responsibility for the current lack of
negotiations with the Palestinians by
blaming Islam as an obstacle. In actuality]
Israel has consistently refused to respond
to offers of peace by the PLO, the repre=
sentative of the Palestinian people (and
which can be more so by adopting an Is-
lamic agenda). This refusal to negotiate is
the real issue, and prolongs the injustice
the Palestinians are facing.

14

0

:smessam----------e
......| ..|... | XX
... .|...... e de

Sterilization by law

:"SHE IS A PERSON who no longer
needs to ever have any children," Judge
Roy Jones said of Melody Baldwin.
Baldwin was convicted of killing her
,four year old son by giving him fatal
doses of prescribed drugs. Apparently,
Judge Jones has decided that one title
was not enough, and has taken on the
role of God in an Indiana court case.
Baldwin pleaded guilty to neglecting
a dependent, a crime which carries
from a six to twenty year possible sen-
tence. However, Judge Jones told
Baldwin he would be more lenient in
0 her sentencing if she agreed to be
sterilized, and Baldwin consented by
signing the appropriate forms.
Judges should not have the power to
decide who may, and who may not,
have children. By applying their judi-
cial power directly to the human body,
they stray into the realm of cruel and
unusual punishment. This is tanta-
mount to human torture. Judge Jones is
entering Ms. Baldwin's body, and
stripping her of her reproductive capa-
bility.
If the practice of using sterilization as
a punishment is allowed to continue,
the courts will soon have the power to
employ eugenics. Eugenics, the pro-
cess of eliminating a population by
preventing it from reproducing, is a
type of selective breeding embraced in
Nazi Germany. The courts will then be
able to prevent "inferior people" (i.e.

the criminals) from reproducing.
Judge Jones is contradicting a sup-
posedly central philosophy of the
United States' penal system -
rehabilitation. By sterilizing Ms. Bald-
win, he is declaring her a hopeless
case. He is telling her that she will
never be capable of being a fit mother.
Not only is this message psychologi-
cally damaging to Ms. Baldwin, but it
undermines the hope of rehabilitation,
an already dangerously neglected prin-
ciple of our penal system.
This is not the first time that a judge
has punished a woman by violating her
right to reproductive freedom. A judge
in Arizona recently ordered a woman to
practice birth control for the remainder
of her childbearing years. The birth
control she used, however, failed, and
she became pregnant despite the mea-
sures prescribed by the court. The
judge was forced to reverse the order.
Because it ignores the possibility of
rehabilitation and reform, sterilization
is not a viable punishment, and will be
ineffective in Ms. Baldwin's case. The
court has found Ms. Baldwin to be a
psychologically unfit parent. Steriliza-
tion will only prevent her from killing
her own children, but she may eventu-
ally find another dangerous outlet for
her problems, unless her mental health
is restored through therapy and reha-
bilitation. Sterilization only skirts the
problem, and violates women's rights
to autonomy over their own bodies.

Writer has
flawed
perspectives
To the Daily:
This is in response to an ar-
ticle which appeared in the
Perspective Section of the
Daily (9/22/88). The article
entitled "Student-resident rap-
port" depicted a scene in which
a University student, upon
leaving a party, "pissed on" an
Ann Arbor resident. The photo
that ran with the story was
taken nearly a year ago for use
with a weekend feature article.
The Daily staff's inappropriate
use of this file photo caused
those individuals in the photo
to be associated with the
aforementioned party. The
photo was taken last year to be
used in association with Alco-
hol Awareness Week. We were
aware of its use in conjunction
with this subject. However, in
this case, our consent was not
given for its use and a dis-
claimer did not accompany the
photo citing it as one from the
Daily files. To compound the
matter, we strongly disagree
with the contents of the article.
The tone of the article was
offensive to many of the stu-
dents AND Ann Arbor resi-
dents with which we have spo-
ken. We feel that it was unjus-
tified for the writer to stereo-
type all University students en
masse. At an institution where
diversity and equal opportunity
are constantly being fought for
and where stereotypes are ve-
hemently discouraged, it is a
shame that the Daily should
allow the printing of an article
which blatantly brands a
majority of its readers as
drunken, partying invaders.
One point that the writer
continually brought up was the
idea that the student body
lacked respect for Ann Arbor.
She depicted the students as

what about the student who is
an Ann Arbor and attends the
University show disrespect for
his/her hometown? There are
many students who work in
crisis centers, day care centers,
awareness programs, etc. in
Ann Arbor and the surrounding
areas. If these is a lack of con-
cern for the people of this city
then why is there such a large
number of students volunteer-
ing to aid these people for
whom they supposedly disre-
spect?
The Perspectives section of
the Daily allows for the staff to
voice personal opinions. In
this case, we feel that the
writer overstepped the bounds
of decency and subsequently
offended many fellow students
and Ann Arbor residents alike.
Hopefully, we put underlying
ideas of the article in a different
"perspective" and showed the
flaws in the writer's argu-
ments.
-Beth Schauer
Lloyd Sarrel
Hilary DeKraai
Greg Knotek
Robert Starr
Jonathan Gorman
Lisa L. Guyot
Bridget Fitzgerald
Bronwyn Jones
Hartford 15'
jury unfair
To the Daily:
It is perhaps the belief of the
Reagan administration that si-
lence can still be imposed
through force, as demonstrated
by the Puerto Rico-Hartford 15
case and all the Puerto Rican
"prisoners of war" cases. The
most recent example is the
ruling by the Federal Court in
September declaring the Jury
anonymous in the Hartford
case. This prevents the solidar-
ity movement and the U.S.
media from learning the names
and studying the composition

viewed have been dismissed
since the jury selection process
began, due in part to fear.
among those prospective ju-
rors. No existing evidence at
all warrants this type of un-
usual procedure. The Daily
should be corrected in its de-
scription of the accused as
members of the "Macheteros"
political organization, since
this is part of the "terrorist
portrayal" and "pre-judging"
tactics of the Federal govern-
ment. The only common thread
among the accused is their
support for Puerto Rican inde-
pendence.
According to another recent
ruling by the Federal judge
hearing the case, the Jury
members for the trial are to be
selected from the New Haven
community instead of Hartford
(as had been the case during the
three years of pre-trial hear-
ings). This is another unusual
silencing tactic used by the
government, since there is a
much more populous Puerto
Rican community in Hartford
(25% of the population) and a
much more active campaign by
the solidarity movement has
been going on in Hartford for
the last three years. Out of the
remaining 72 prospective ju-
rors only one is Puerto Rican.
The government seeks to neu-
tralize all political action
countering its ideological war
against the independence
movement.
Two of the Puerto Rico-
Hartford 15 defendants have
been invited by the Puerto Ri-
can Solidarity Organization to
speak at the Ann Arbor campus
on October 26. PRSO seeks to
inform the Ann Arbor
community of Puerto Rican
political issues but has not yet
received the support it needs
from the University admini-
stration.
-Jose Norat
October 5
Talent of

waste, greed and gluttony. As
we apathetically watch our
generation, and its parents
calmly exploit this beautiful
blue globe for all it's worth,
some look back on the sixties
era with its basically free love,
sex, drugs and rock-n-roll, as a
kind of utopia - 'Wouldn't it
be nice..." Well, yes, but
WAKE UP, folks, and stop
standing by your drugged or
otherwise comatose state tak-
ing it all in..."like, Wow..."
Don't feed the vicious cycle of
apathy - live for today, in to-
day.
Now that I've explained what
is happening, let me also ex-
plain why the music of that
time is not to be cut down.
Talent is the keystone of
music. Computers are dehu-
manizing music as surely as
the world spins. The pop cul-
ture that festers in today's
limelight is 90 percent synthe-
sized. Therefore, much of to-
day's pop involves little or no
,talent beyond programming
synthesizer and drum machines,
then wailing some lovely
cliches at a 16 track recorder for
effect. This is part of the rea-
son why today's music takes
the back seat to yesterday's
simple abundance of raw talent.
Many of these musicians still
rock in their 40s. Eric Clapton,
Keith Richards, Pete Town-
shend, and Jerry Garcia are all
great talents - only a fool
would debate that. You may
not like their style, but give
them credit for their virtuosity.
That isn't to say that there is
no talent out there today - to
the contrary, there is much out
there, but one must look for it
between computers. Music
should be listened to for its
artistic sensibility, not for its
belonging to one generation or
another.
. Possibly we musicians
should thank the 60s resur-
gence for helping to bring tal-
ent to the scene of popular
music. To some extent, our

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