February 21, 20
©2003 The Michigan Daily
Ann Arbor, Michigan
Vol. CXIII, No. 100
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Students question, react to Al-Arian arrest
By Soojung Chang
Daily Staff Reporter
Students expressed mixed reactions to the
recent arrest of University of South Florida engi-
neering Prof. Sami Al-Arian, who was charged
along with seven other men of having ties to a
Palestinian terrorist group.
The charges were announced by U.S. Attorney
General John Ashcroft at a news conference yes-
terday afternoon, when a 50-count indictment
against the eight men was unsealed.
The indictment accused the defendants of
being members of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad,
which has been declared by the United States as
a foreign terrorist organization.
By Erin Saylor
Daily Staff Reporter
In a statement released by the Depart-
ment of Justice, Ashcroft said the defen-
dants have played a significant role in
aiding international terrorism.
"They are 'material supporters' of foreign ter-
rorist organizations. They finance, extol and
assist acts of terror,'Ashcroft said.
Four of the men, including Al-Arian, were
taken into custody while the other four remain
overseas. Sameeh Hammoudeh, an instructor
and student at USF; Hatim Naji Fariz, a med-
ical clinic manager in Spring Hill, Fla.; and
Ghassan Zayed Ballut, a small business owner
in Tinley Park, Ill., were the four taken in to
Al-Arian was accused of being the leader
of the United States chapter of the PIJ and
the secretary of its worldwide governing
Al-Arian was a speaker at the second
National Student Conference on the Pales-
tinian Solidarity Movement at the Universi-
ty in October.
Michigan Student Zionists President Rick
Dorfman said there had been prior indica-
tions that Al-Arian was linked to terrorists.
Dorfman and LSA senior Adi Neuman filed
a lawsuit against the University in the fall for
allowing Al-Arian to speak on campus.
"There was ample evidence that a leading
terrorist in America was coming to campus
and I did everything in my power to stop
him," Dorfman said.
Justice Deparment spokesman Bryan Sierra
confirmed that the investigation of the defen-
dants has been going on for several years.
"This is the result of an extensive criminal
investigation," Sierra said. Sierra said there have
been no arrangements yet for bail and said the
investigation is ongoing.
He added that recent changes in the law
that have allowed greater sharing of infor-
mation between law enforcement agencies
was a factor in bringing about the charges at
Al-Arian's arrest has raised concerns
among some students regarding the possi-
bility that he will not be given a fair trial
due to recent legislation like the USA
PATRIOT Act, which has given the govern-
ment increased surveillance powers.
"This is very reminiscent of Rabih Haddad
and what's been happening to him," said Busi-
ness senior and Muslim Students Association
President Kenan Basha, referring to the local
Muslim leader who has been detained and
accused of having terrorist ties.
"I think the current atmosphere in this country
has resulted in the wrongful detainment of thou-
sands of Arabs," SAFE co-founder and LSA sen-
ior Fadi Kiblawi said.
"My main concern is whether or not he's given
a fair trial in the current anti-Arab atmosphere in
this country," Kiblawi said.
By Lydia K. Leung
Daily Staff Reporter
The difference between those who
can tolerate pain and those who can't
may come down to a slight variation
within a single gene.
According to researchers at the
University and the National Institute
of Alcohol and Alcoholism, a new
study indicates that a person's pain
threshold may be inherited.
The study shows variation in the
gene that encodes the enzyme cate-
chol-O-methyl transferase has a sig-
nificant effect on pain tolerance and
pain-related emotions of individuals.
"This research is the first of its
kind to build bridges between
behavioral effects, brain circuits and
genetics," said Stanley Watson, co-
director of the Mental Health
The gene that encodes the COMT
enzyme expresses itself either as
valine or methionine alleles. All peo-
ple receive one of these alleles from
The study tested the pain thresh-
olds and pain-related emotional
responses of 29 individuals by inject-
ing a carefully controlled amount of
salt-water into the jaw muscle to
stimulate temporomandibular joint
pain disorder, and then watching the
brain react using brain-imaging tech-
nology. Subjects also answered ques-
tionnaires on how the pain made
Results showed that individuals
with two copies of the "met" allele
withstood less pain and reported feel-
ing more pain-related negative emo-
tions than those with two copies of
the "val" allele. Those who had one
See THRESHOLD, Page 3
Business Prof. Claes Fornell finally
broke the silence yesterday and respond-
ed to an article in Tuesday's Wall Street
Journal regarding his actions that some
have interpreted as possible insider trad-
ing. Fornell is the director of the Univer-
sity's American Consumer Satisfaction
Index, which gauges consumer satisfac-
tion with various services and products.
"There has been no improper conduct
by me or anyone else associated with the
ACSI," Fornell said in an e-mail
addressed to the University Business
School community yesterday, which he
said was a "response to a series of per-
sonal attacks" on him.
"Acting prior to publication has
not, and does not, provide a portfolio
trading advantage ... anyone who
wants to check it can obviously do
so," Fornell said.
Fornell told the Wall Street Journal in
an interview that he has held an ACSI-
based portfolio since April 2000 and has
recently traded some stocks in the index
before the latest round of results were
released on Tuesday. He said he did this
in order to test his theory of positive cor-
relation between consumer satisfaction
and market value of the companies in
the real world with real cash.
His actions have been criticized by
and caught the attention of many market
experts. The University responded to the
incident by stating its intent to investi-
gate the situation according to Universi-
"I have instructed anyone affiliated
with the ASCI not to make personal use
of the information gathered in the course
of producing the quarterly index, prior to
the index's release to the general public'
said Business School Dean Robert
Dolan in a written statement.
Fornell said he will comply with the
"There has been no
improper conduct by
me or anyone else
associated with the
- Business Prof Claes Fornell
Director, American Consumer
dean's statement and thus will not trade
any of the stocks involved in the index
before releasing the results to the public.
According to legal experts, this
case would not be treated as one
involving insider trading even
though Fornell has used the informa-
tion to trade in the market before the
results were revealed to the public.
"If Michigan had no policy pro-
hibiting the personal use of the
information before it was publicly
released, it will be very difficult to
make out an insider trading case,"
said Brad Bennett, a former attorney
at the Securities and Exchange Com-
He added that before a case can be
filed, the SEC would have to prove
the survey results are "material" -
meaning investors would have con-
sidered it important in making an
investment decision. But in this case,
it is difficult to prove.
Despite the legal issues, critics said
they did not welcome such behavior on
"It's inappropriate for a public univer-
sity to hold important information from
the public," said Mercer Bullard, a for-
mer assistant chief counsel at the SEC.
The ASCI dropped less than one point
to 72.9 in the fourth quarter of 2002, and
remained steady throughout 2002.
ELISE BERGMAN/ Daily
LEFT TO RIGHT: University alum Sophia Saeed, LSA seniors Sophia Hussein and Henna Tirmizi and Education student Tahera
Uddin listen intently to a lecture on women's rights in Islam.
Calif.Muslim leader discusses
women's role, rights i*n Islam
By Karen Schwartz
Daily Staff Reporter
Imam Suheib Webb, a Muslim
leader from California, spoke yester-
day to an audience of over 75 at
Hutchins Hall about his perspective
on the comprehensive role of women
In his lecture titled "Women in
Islam: Oppression or Liberation?"
Webb discussed the rights given to
women in the Qur'an and their roles
as mothers, educators, leaders and
advisors, using text-based examples
from the Qur'an and scholarly writ-
ings to illustrate his points and show
the positive treatment of women in
Islam as a sustained pattern of
As Muslims, women share the
responsibility of worship with their
male counterparts. "Her primary
role is to be a worshipper of her cre-
ator and to live a life which dictates
the tenants of her religion and faith,"
See ISLAM, Page 3
increase as dining
halls follow trends
By Katie Glupker
Daily Staff Reporter
It's cool to be vegetarian, according to a recent survey by
Teenage Research Unlimited. The survey found that 20 per-
cent of 12- to 19-year-olds consider vegetarianism "in."
Ruth Blackburn, Residential Dining Services nutrition
specialist, said the University enthusiastically accommo-
dates this trend. She said although there is not an accurate
way to know how many students at the University are vege-
tarians, "we're probably echoing trends around the country."
Every campus residence hall serves a vegetarian entree
for lunch and dinner, and East Quad additionally serves a
separate vegan entree at both meals, Blackburn said.
Barbara Daoust-Westbrooks, assistant manager of dining
services at East Quad, said the residence dining halls have
been serving vegetarian entrees daily for more than 20
years. She added that the Residential College has probably
had the greatest influence in the addition of vegetarian
entrees to the daily menu.
People choose to become vegetarian or vegan for a
variety of reasons, but Blackburn said that experiment-
ing with vegetarianism has definitely become a grow-
ing trend. She added that the RDS online menu
received 50,000 hits last year, which indicates that stu-
dents take their diet seriously, even if they merely want
to know what's for dinner.
"Many students are interested in a low-fat diet, but vege-
tarian diets are not necessarily lower in fat or calories,"
Blackburn said, adding that meat substitutes may or may not
See VEGETARIAN, Page 3
University buses now use an alternative fuel made from the oil of soybeans, which replaces the smell of
burning diesel fuel with that of fried food.
Bio-diesel fuel alternative for
'U'buses create less pollutants
By Kyle Brouwer
Daily Staff Reporter
Although it is similar to the smell of a busy
kitchen at McDonald's, bio-diesel fuel now being
used by University buses will bring about less
harmful pollutants to the air we breathe.
Because the fuel burning under the bus's hood
contains comparably low amounts of sulfur and
contains 20 percent bio-diesel - an alternative
fuel made from the oil of soybeans - the typical
smell of burning diesel fuel is now replaced by
one reminiscent of fried food.
The buses are a huge step for environmen-
tally safe transportation, said University Direc-
tor of Parking and Transportation Services
See BIO-DIESEL, Page 3
NICOLE T EILLIUER/ Dily
Students are able to try a variety of vegetarian foods served in University residence