Friday, October 22, 2004
The Daily endorses
Rep. John Dingell
ICERS EKE OUT WIN IN U.P. ... SPORTS, PAGE 8
Arts 5 "America (the book)"
shows the lighter
side of democracy.
o2004 The Michigan Daily
One-hundred-fourteen years ofeditorialfreedom
Ann Arbor, Michigan Vol. CXV, No. 16
By Michael Kan
Daily Staff Reporter
In a major backlash against the Bush administration
Arab and Muslim political groups voiced unanimous sup-
port for Democratic presidential nominee John Kerry with
a string of election endorsements this month.
But despite their backing of Kerry, many Muslim and
Arab voters may still be left choosing the lesser e'il in the
upcoming election, as members of both groups say they
still have reservations over both candidates.
The Muslim tide against the president's re-election
culminated yesterday when the American Muslim Task-
force - an umbrella organization of 10 Muslim groups
- endorsed Kerry, calling for a "protest vte" against the
Bush administration. An expected 81 percent of the Mus-
lim population will back the Taskforce's decision, accord-
ing to a recent joint Zogby International and Georgetown
University nationwide poll.
Earlier this month, both the Arab American Polit1
Action Committee and the Muslim American Political
Action Committee issued the same mandate for Kerry;
citing similar reasons for the endorsement, such as Bush's
foreign policy and the Patriot Act.
Signaling this charge against Bush are polls that indicate
a wide dissatisfaction with the President's policies among
Muslim and Arab groups. The Muslim population exhibits
an overwhelming disapproval, favoring Kerry over Bush
by a 76 to 7 percent margin in the same Zogby and George-
Arab American opposition toward Bush has been less
pronounced but marked nonetheless, with 49 percent of the
Arab vote supporting Kerry, in contrast to the 31.5 percent
for Bush, in the four battleground states of Michigan, Ohio,
Pennsylvania and Florida, according to another Zogby poll
conducted in September.
With more than 9 million Arab American and Muslim
votes in the balance of an already dead-locked election
which may hinge on blocs of minority voters, the strong
anti-Bush sentiment among Arabs and Muslims comes as
bad news for the president. Moreover, majorities of both
constituencies voted for Bush in the 2000 election.
Yet since then, many Arabs and Muslims have turned
against Bush because of common grievances over domestic
and foreign policy. But some still hesitate over selecting
Kerry as a viable alternative.
Delayed by about a week, the American Muslim Task-
force's endorsement came late due to worries over Kerry's
proposals concerning the Iraq war and security issues.
AMT President Agha Saeed said that Kerry has
not addressed procedures that are "harassing Muslim
"He also has not offered any plan to bring the troops
home (from Iraq)," Saeed added.
Doubts over the vagueness of Kerry's messages impeded
any strong consensus from forming, said Yaha Basha, a
member of the AMT and a Bush supporter.
"It's an endorsement with a lot of reservations, and there's
still a lot of negativity about it. And (Muslims) don't expect
that they are going to be that much better off than with
George Bush.... That's the reason why the endorsement
was delayed - because they were afraid he would be a
disappointment," he said.
But for AMT and the Arab American Political Action
Committee, frustration with the Bush administration com-
pelled their organizations to endorse Kerry.
See ENDORSEMENT, Page 3
Pete Capling of the Holiday Lighting Service of Manchester strings lights on South University Avenue. TREVOR CAMPBELL/Daily
SNew law permits hazing prosecution
By Leslie Rott
Daily Staff Reporter
Members of the Greek community who
have been confronted with hazing allegations
this week may face criminal charges that did
not exist until this past summer, if hazing did
indeed occur at the seven houses under inves-
tigation at the University. On August 18, 2004,
the state of Michigan put into effect a law that
deems hazing a crime, punishing members of
educational institutions who take part in the
hazing of other individuals.
Under the law, "educational institutions"
consist of both public and private schools rang-
ing from middle schools to universities located
in the state.
In the law's provisions, hazing is defined as
an intentional or reckless act that knowingly
endangers the life of an individual and is done
for the purpose of gaining or maintaining mem-
bership in a group. The person committing the
crime can be acting alone or with a group.
While the latest allegations of hazing
involve the Greek community, the law applies
to all groups on campus.
Among the specific activities prosecuted
as hazing under the law are physical brutal-
ity - such as whipping, beating and branding
- and forced activity that can harm the indi-
vidual, such as sleep deprivation or exposure
to the elements.
The consumption of harmful amounts of
food, liquids and alcoholic beverages is also
covered by the law, as well as any activity that
causes an individual to commit a crime.
"Most of the time in the past, there was no
crime for hazing," said Wayne County Pros-
ecutor Brian Mackie.
The University's Greek community has
taken a strong stance on the new law.
See HAZING, Page 2
In a Haze
Hazing is defined as an act
that knowingly endangers life
to gain or maintain member-
ship in a group.
It includes physical brutal-
ity and harmful forced activity,
including the consumption of
harmful amounts of food, liq-
uid and alcohol.
Catholic Church openly supports Prop. 2
By Donn M. Fresard
Daily Staff Reporter
The debate over gay marriage, widely con-
sidered to be a divisive "wedge" issue in this
year's election, may be driving a wedge even
between Michigan's Christian churches.
While Episcopalians and many Presbyteri-
ans have come out against Proposal 2, which
would amend Michigan's constitution to ban
gay marriage, other Protestant and especially
Catholic churches across the state have taken
significant measures to support its passage.
Michigan's Catholic dioceses have contrib-
uted about half of the $1 million raised by Citi-
zens for the Protection of Marriage, the group
that led the petition effort to put Proposal 2
on the November ballot. The Archdiocese of
Detroit, which covers six southeastern Michi-
gan counties, has been particularly active in
support of the proposal, donating $270,000 to
In addition to its financial support, the Cath-
olic Church has encouraged individual par-
ishes to promote the amendment during church
services. Cardinal Adam Maida, archbishop of
Detroit and chairman of the Michigan Catho-
lic Conference, produced a video earlier this
Proposal would amend state constitution to define
marriage as between 'one man and one woman'
month encouraging Catholics to vote for the
proposal. Maida distributed the video to all of
the archdiocese's churches to be shown during
Although pastors at many churches dis-
cuss issues such as abortion in their ser-
mons, it is unusual for Catholic churches to
show videos advocating a specific vote dur-
ing mass. Dave Maluchnik, a spokesman
for the MCC, said the last time such a video
was distributed to Michigan churches was
in 1988, when a referendum was on the bal-
lot to stop the state from funding abortions
Father Mike Bugarin, pastor of the Catholic
church St. Joan of Arc in St. Clair Shores, said
the feedback from his parish after the video
was played during mass was almost entirely
positive, with the exception of one negative
"People were happy to be educated on the
See CHURCH, Page 7
State Street closed
From 7 a.m. tomorrow to
5 p.m. Sunday, northbound
State Street will be closed
between William and
Traffic will be detoured
west on Madison Street to
The only Central Cam-
pus stop for.the Univer-
sity's North Campus bus
route will be C. C. Little.
AATA buses will follow the
Thompson Street detour.
Conference seeks peace in
former Soviet republics
By Margaret Havemann
Daily Staff Reporter
Since the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, Arme-
nia, Azerbaijan and Georgia have seen their influence in
the world increase due to their strategic location north of
the Middle East and their easy access to trade routes on
the Caspian Sea.
However, with this increase in responsibility has come
an increase in military conflicts, as all three of the former
republics of the Soviet Union are engaged in wars.
In order to re-examine the region's problems and dis-
cuss what has gone wrong in the region in the past decade,
the University is hosting the International Armenian Con-
ference this weekend. The conference on Armenian poli-
tics that began yesterday and will end Sunday will bring
together some 35 scholars, diplomats and negotiators from
more than 10 countries, including nations in Europe and
the Middle East.
"We want to see if the trust between this very diverse
group of people can be strengthened, so that progress can
be made," Gerard Libaridian, a professor of modern Arme-
nian history at the University, said during the conference's
For the first time in years, diplomats and scholars direct-
ly involved in creating policies for conflict resolution in the
region will come together, he said.
"This is an event that I'm sure many Armenian academ-
ics have considered organizing, but because of my person-
al connections, we were able to make it happen here at the
University of Michigan," said Libaridian, who spent seven
years as the senior advisor to Armenia's president.
After almost eight months of planning, Kevork Barda-
See CONFERENCE, Page 7
ALAINDERD ZUDU/ Daly
Vitaly Naumklan, the director of the international Center for Strategic and Political
Studies in Russia, speaks at the panel discussion "Evolving International Rela-
tions and the South Caucasus" yesterday at the Alumni Center.
Supreme Court to decide on juvenile death penalty