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September 14, 2001 - Image 4

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The Michigan Daily, 2001-09-14

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4 - The Michigan Daily - Friday, September 14, 2001

OP/ED

("Ffw[ £IrbiC Fau &TI

420 MAYNARD STREET
ANN ARBOR, MI 48109
daily. letters@umich.edu

EDITED AND MANAGED BY
STUDENTS AT THE
UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN
SINCE 1890

GEOFFREY GAGNON
Editor in Chief
MICHAEL GRASS
NICHOLAS WOOMER
Editorial Page Editors

Unless otherwise noted, unsigned editorials reflect the opinion of the majority of the Daily's
editorial board. All other articles, letters and cartoons do not
necessarily reflect the opinion of The Michigan Daily.

NOTABLE
t .
It started
probably within
the hour."
- Kevin Pursglove as quoted in the
Guardian newspaper of London on the
selling of World Trade Center and Pentagon .
wreckage on e-Bav. The online auction .,<; ?' !
house quickly shut down the operation.

At what price?
STEVE KYRITZ YES, THAT IS

SARCASM

or decades, if not
centuries, the
United States has
maintained a distinct
ws moral superiority com-
plex. We may have guns
and the death penalty,
but we afford everybody
the right to free speech
and forbid cruel and unusual punishment.
And it has worked.
Half a world away, dictators have risen
and fallen, civil wars and strife have erupt-
ed and through it all has stood America,
beacon of justice and freedom. We've
taken stands against torture and brutality
and pointed to our own society as the shin-
ing example of why these things are
wrong. Thanks to this way of thinking, we
have been able to stand back and judge,
free of consequences.
As soon as the towers fell on Tuesday,
that ability and freedom were taken from
us.
We may have more freedom than any-
body, but now we also have thousands of
victims of a war that has been brought to
our own backyard. In comparison, Israeli
and Chinese citizens may not have as
many personal liberties as us, but they
have also never had anywhere near the
equal of Tuesday's horror.
I mention those countries in particular,
because true or not, they both have reputa-

tions for being less than cordial to enemies
of the state. Israel in particular is reputed
to use any means necessary to protect its
national security. Perhaps the time has
come for the United States to do the same.
One of the greatest flaws in the Ameri-
can system, as I see it, is that we seem to
grant a greater importance to personal lib-
erties than to national security. Osama Bin
Laden himself could be brought in today,
and unless he happened to be in a chatty
mood, he would be useless except for sym-
bolism. We have no means to force him, or
any other individual, to provide informa-
tion, even when it is vital to national secu-
rity.
Sure, it's easy to write off methods like
torture and murder after the fact, but what
if they could prevent a horror like Tuesday
from happening again?
We've seen what can happen when
we're caught unaware. If the next Ramzi
Yousef or Tim McVeigh we catch knows
of plans for an escalation of Tuesday's ter-
ror, how far are we as a people willing to
go to get that information from them? As a
nation, which is more important to us: our
morality or our security?
The problem with an attitude like this
is that it leads to a slippery slope. After
all, it was "national security" that was
used to justify imprisoning thousands of
Japanese-Americans during World War II.
That was obviously a gross misapplication

of the concept, and remains one of the
blackest marks upon 20th century Ameri-
can history.
I like to believe that I am a compas-
sionate person and have a generally kind
heart, and atrocities like the Japanese
interment usually have a significant impact
my thinking.
But if I were a law enforcement agent
who found myself with a suspected
accomplice to Tuesday's attacks, I would
do anything to find out what I needed to
know.
Make no mistake, I'm not advocating
methods like this for revenge. I haven't yet
decided where I stand on the whole "eye-
for-an-eye" versus "cycle of violence"
issue. What I do know is that I wholeheart-
edly support the use of any tactics neces-
sary to prevent a repeat of Tuesday, Sept.
11, 2001.
As I write this, I feel like a monster,
calling for the United States to use torture
and any other means necessary gather
information vital to national security.
But then I think of the two towns that
made up my high school, and the 50 resi-
dents who are still missing, and I can't
help but wonder, at what price freedom?
Would I trade one terrorist's civil rights
for those 50 people? In a heartbeat.
Steve Kyritz can be reached
via e-mail at skyritz@umich.edu.

0l

V LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

We must not allow 'seeds of discord

and hatred' t
To THE DAILY:
I am brought to the lowest depths of despair and pain
by the terror that has struck our nation. I grieve for all
those we've lost, and for all those that suffer in survival.
In this miserable time, I hope that we can bond together
as a community to overcome what we have, as a nation,
endured.
But I am frightened, because I don't know if the unity
we must achieve is possible.
I am a Muslim.
And in these days of the aftermath of the greatest
destruction our country has ever faced on this soil, I see
the seeds of discord and hatred beginning to grow. It is
disheartening that many members of the Muslim and
Arab communities, communities that contribute to the
greatness of our American society and culture, are being
threatened simply because of their faith and/or origin.
Muslims are not terrorists. The despicable inhuman
creatures that committed these acts, whoever they are,
should never be associated with the religion that teaches
me peace and love. Islam categorically rejects and con-
demns every form of terrorism. It does not provide any
justification for any act of violence, be it committed by an

:o grow, divide us

individual, a group or a government. Islam cannot and
does not sanction the bloodshed of innocent men, women
and children. In fact, the word "Islam" itself literally
means "peace" in Arabic. The Holy Quran, the religious
book of all Muslims, states: "Commit not iniquity in the
earth causing disorder" (7:57; 11:86; 29:37).
It is unfortunate that Islam, the religion of peace,
hope, harmony, goodwill and brother- and sisterhood has
been badly tarnished by the perpetrators of various terror-
ist acts and barbarism as seen on Sept. 11, 2001.
The people who inflicted these crimes on humanity, if
they are indeed found attempting to associate themselves
with Islam, do not represent the thoughts and actions of
those that truly practice and live Islam. But I hope that my
fellow American citizens, people that can exercise strong
judgement, goodwill and justice, will recognize that the
actions committed by a crazed few do not represent the
many citizens of this country and around the world who
profess their faith in Islam or find their ancestral roots in
the Middle East.
My community, the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community
USA, is doing all it can to support the efforts to help vic-
tims and their families through blood donations, medical

aid, food and shelter. It joins all Americans in calling for
the swift apprehension and punishment of the perpetra-
tors. I know many other Muslim communities that are
doing the same.
I am disheartened by the threats and backlash that
members of the Muslim and Arab communities have
received. These acts are an indication of ignorance and
hatred, and are the seeds of ultimate discord and lack of
peace. I am ashamed to read that my fellow Muslims are
being threatened on this campus, right here in Ann Arbor.
I thought Wolverines were the leaders and best -
educated people who understand the difference between
right and wrong.
But I am confident that we as a community can and
will rise above such injustice and support each other in
this terrible time. Let's begin on this campus - one of
the world's centers for higher learning, knowledge and
education. Let's embrace one another, and understand,
that despite our differences, we all hope for peace and
survival.
ISMAT MANGLA
Alumnus
The letter writer worksfor the Alumni Association.

Daily obligated to report
Palestinian celebrations
To THE DAILY:
Heidi Arraf asks the Daily to stop reporting about Palestin-
ian support for suicide bombers which she characterizes as "not
relevant ... not representative and ... most irresponsible"
("Palestinians unfairly being typecast as supporting attacks,"
9/13/01).
However, a public opinion poll published on Aug. 29 by the
Palestinian Center for Public Opinion found that 81 percent of
the Palestinian respondents approved of massacring innocent
civilians by suicide terrorism. The cheering crowds were no
aberration.
The Daily has an obligation to report facts. Readers can
make their own determination as to the relevance of facts such
as these.
JOSHUA BROOK
Law School student
BAMN desecrated sanctity of
Tuesday's memorial vigil
To THE DAILY:
Tuesday's vigil was absolutely incredible - an estimated
15,000 students attended, nearly half the student body. Student gov-
ernment leaders, members of the administration and student group
leaders who saw the vigil as a necessary response to the gravity of
the disaster worked with everyone, regardless of ideology, to make
the event comforting to students. We came to the vigil with hurting
and vulnerable hearts, seeking comfort and healing from our peers,
spiritual, political, and community leaders. But the sheer magnitude
of turnout and emotional vulnerability was too much for the Coali-
tion to Defend Affirmative Action and Integration and Fight for
Equality By Any Means Necessary (BAMN) to pass up. They capi-
talized on the tragedy, passing out their propaganda to silent mourn-
ers as they filed into and out of the Diag. Instead of paying attention,
they spent the hour pushing through the crowd and bullying the vol-
unteers about getting on the speakers' list. These utterly insensitive
and tactless acts were an unethical and inhumane reaction to peo-
ples' vulnerability after Tuesday's travesty.
Their subsequent attempts to claim ownership of anti-Arab dis-
crimination issues is also totally inappropriate. Issues of anti-Arab
discrimination belong to those most affected and they have
responded, capturing the receptive ear of the student body. We
should not allow a small group of students with ulterior political
motives to commandeer others' issues. It polarizes and desensitizes
people in an already traumatic time. But this is a student body that
will not be fractured by outside agitation. We are a community who
will stand behind our Arab friends and classmates, regardless of
BAMN's insensitive and tactless acts. We have set aside our politi-
cal differences and are mourning as a community, free from poli-
tics and bitterness. By their actions Tuesday evening, BAMN has
proven themselves to be less than human, caring more about advanc-
ing their political agenda tlianthe hurting hearts and feelings of stu-
dents. For a group that claims to be a champion of human and civil
rights, they have done a fine job of proving themselves incapable of
identifying with humanity.

194

Remember heroes,
loved ones in
horror's aftermath
To THE DAILY:
Fifteen thousand standing in total
silence, a sea of silent candles, made buoy-
ant by the slightest of heavenly breeze and
the pounding hearts of a diverse communi-
ty united in its resolve. The crackle of a
police radio, and the whirring of the build-
ing fans were the only noises above hushed
and shallow breaths for more than two
minutes. Even as an a cappella group quiet-
ly took the platform and sang Patti Grif-
fith's "Forgiveness" the thousands stood in
total silence. It was at the end, a feeling of
guilt that slowly washed over the crowd as
somebody now needed to speak, or
applaud, or whisper an a-men, and thus
break the silence. This was a profound and
stirring unity of reverence comparable only
to walking the grounds at Dachau or stand-
ing at the black wall in Washington, D.C.
That was Tuesday.
Today my co-workers, friends, and
family take time to remember.
Remember final good-byes; whether a
..Y i "I'l, ,, _f rn nfa ° I'c,,, -_

of resolve and fateful reconciliation of
what lay ahead. These heroes we remem-
ber.
Remember the brave men who, with
equal resolve and reconciliation, in their
final moments alive struggled with their
hijackers so that in their and their fellow
travelers deaths, others on the ground may
be saved the horror of another World Trade
Center, another Pentagon, or a Capitol
Building, Camp David or White House.
These heroes too and the lives they saved
in the end we must remember.
Remember your neighbors, your
friends, your co-workers, your fellow citi-
zens. Remember the day of pain, and days
ahead as they are spat on, threatened, beat-
en and maybe killed, for only the way in
which they worship God - or more often
simply because of a name, or a color of
their skin, or accent. Remember your
brothers.
And if, after all this is put to memory
eternal, and some small space remains;
remember the need for Justice instead of
Revenge. Joy instead of Fear. Love instead
of Hate.
But remember.
STEPHEN HIPKIsS
Alumnus
The letter writer is afacilities manager at the

{

SAM HOLLENSHEAD/Daily
Doctors at St. Vincent's Medical Center in Greenwich Village take a much deserved
break. The hospital Is the closest medical center to the World Trade Center.

and the University of California at Berke-
ley stand in sympathy with students on
campuses across the country who have rel-
atives and friends who have suffered in the
attacks in New York and Washington.
As anti-racist student parties, we call
on all people to oppose and stand against
anti-Arab and anti-Muslim bigotry, xeno-
phobia, war hysteria and national-chauvin-
a kea in a _ _ n a to ha tt -c!n

solely on the basis of race - we must
never allow anything like that to happen
again. We call on students at every school
and university across the country to speak
out against racist and bigoted responses to
the attack on the World Trade Center and
the Pentagon.
It is the duty of every anti-racist, every
progressive and every person who sup-
nr.fec r. n camn nrnw tnnnnn ran nni, n

_I

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