Letters for September 29 

Readers sound off on Che Guevara, the death penalty, Macbeth, and double standards.

Page 3 of 7

Alas, in his commentary about the new Islamic "liberal" arts college in Berkeley, which Gammons called "heartening," he apparently failed to look into the background of the school's founders and intimated that the school has opened sans any sense of concern by a good percentage of people in the East Bay. True, no one has made any attempt to deter the school's opening, nor has anyone stated that they are opposed to seeing an Islamic school functioning locally. Nevertheless, Gammons has failed to undertake the due diligence of any decent reporter on this issue. Had he done any measure of research, he would have found a good number of women, gays, and Jews alarmed about both the politics of the school's founders as well as what will be taught at Zaytuna College. 

Sheikh Hamza Yusuf, one of the colleges founders, wrote to an Islamic group, saying: "America is a country that has little to be proud of in its past and less to be proud of in the present. I am a citizen of this country not by choice but by birth. I reside in this country not by choice but by conviction in attempting to spread the message of Islam in this country. I became Muslim in part because I did not believe in the false gods of this society whether we call them Jesus or democracy or the Bill of Rights or any other element of this society that is held sacrosanct by the ill-informed peoples that make up this charade of a society ... Fundamentals of Islam are being compromised ... Conventional resolutions are meaningless Masonic exercises devised by men who desire to engage people in forums that would insure nothing changes ... There should be no voting or debate ... We have no room for ayes or nays."

Imam Zaid Shakir, another founder, serves as an adviser for the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) and is a frequent speaker at CAIR gatherings.

On one occasion, Imam Shakir ruled that Islamic law permits Muslims to attack C-130 military transport planes carrying the 82nd Airborne out of Fort Bragg, North Carolina. "Jihad," he said, "is physically fighting the enemies of Islam to protect and advance the religion of Islam. This is jihad." He added that among acceptable targets of jihad are U.S. military aircraft.

Hatem Bazian, the third founder of the new college, holds a Ph.D in Islamic Studies from the University of California where he teaches. He is an ardent supporter of intifada (the militant uprising of Muslims) not only in Palestinian territory (in which he was born) but also throughout the United States. He stunned a San Francisco crowd of thousands of anti-Iraq war demonstrators by screaming: "Well, we've been watching intifada in Palestine, we've been watching an uprising in Iraq, and the question is that what are we doing? How come we don't have an intifada in this country? It's about time that we have an intifada in this country that change[s]. Of course I know some people are gonna hear this and say about me, 'this is some Palestinian being too radical' — well, you haven't seen radicalism yet!" 

Finally, learning that the college has a major in Islamic law, a good number of women and gays, fully aware of how Sharia demeans females and homosexuals, have understandably expressed their concern about what students will be taught at Zaytuna.

Correspondingly,  Mr. Gammons, if you truly wish to be known as an investigative journalist, please next time do your homework. Had you done some fundamental research on Zaytuna, you would have learned that many of your neighbors are not exactly "heartened" by the opening of an institution which they fear with good reason may well become a bastion of the most odious forms of fundamentalism.

Dan Spitzer, Berkeley

Editor's Note

Speaking of doing your homework, the article in question was written by contributor Chris Thompson. Also, Robert's last name is Gammon, not Gammons.


"Everyone Should Demand Justice," Letters, 9/15

Grant Was a Lowlife

Lynette Gibson McElhaney's rant on race is the most egregiously demented pile of crap I've read on the subject.

African Americans have been committing crimes way out of proportion to their numbers for many decades now. The only reason more of their victims are black is due to the accident of proximity. Otherwise, a white or Asian victim will do just fine. Black on white and black on Asian crime far exceeds the reverse. 

No one except a black racist or their stinky white left apologists thought that the OJ verdict was anything but a total travesty of justice, including the black DA who prosecuted Simpson.

Affirmative desegregation means affirmative discrimination against white males in real life.

To compare a journalist like Chauncey Bailey with a lowlife petty criminal like Oscar Grant is obscene. Race was the only thing they had in common. And by the way, Bailey's murder (by other blacks) was extensively covered in the media contrary to McElhaney's unsupported assertion. If Grant was such a doting dad, why was he involved in a fracas on BART instead of being home with his kid?

Of course McElhaney doesn't mention the widespread anti-snitch culture inside the black community. Many decent blacks are afraid to call the police lest they be targeted as "informers."

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