After months of being the target of protest, slander, and vitriol at former Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice when it was announced she would be a commencement speaker at Rutgers University, she has now declined the invitation. What we didn’t know is that a cabal of Muslim student militant wannabes is the reason.
Daily Targum by Jaweerya Mohammad While President Robert L. Barchi continues to stand by his and the Board of Governors’ decision to invite Condoleezza Rice to speak at this year’s commencement ceremony, ironically enough, Rice herself announced that she will be declining the invitation in light of student, faculty and community protests.
Protests were expressed in the form of op-eds and open letters published in The Daily Targum and sent directly to the administration, a faculty petition and ultimately, direct action including a sit-in at Old Queens and other public protests.
A letter to the editor in the Targum on May 2, titled “Protests should not tarnish commencement,” “expressed grave concern” on the suspicion that the commencement ceremony may turn violent because of Muslim protesters.
A statement made by the Targum in its May 1 editorial, titled “#NoRice deserves attention from Rutgers” apparently also frightened this writer and caused her to appeal for a public apology: “Whatever happens at commencement, it will be on Barchi and the Board of Governors to deal with the ramifications of brushing aside the student voice.”
Frankly, as a Muslim, Pakistani-American woman, I am exhausted of having to apologize for actions that I did not commit and take on the job of educating others to not be xenophobic and prejudiced. There is actually a petition on change.org that was started by one student opposed to protesters called “Award an Honorary Doctor of Laws to Condoleezza Rice.”
According to the petition, “protests by a militant Muslim minority of Rutgers students subverted statute and upended all civility in a defamation campaign against an honorable public servant. The actions of these students have created a dangerous environment that could have caused a security risk to a former Secretary of State …”
It is terrifying to me that students are being targeted with these racist (What ‘race’ is Islam?) comments, and that their entire mass movement is being labeled as radical and terroristic because of their religious and/or ethnic background. (Hey, if the shoe fits…)
But the writer of the letter does make a point when she states her graduation would be filled with fear: It should have been alarming that a woman who was responsible for the death of one million (in your dreams) Iraqis, 5,000 U.S soldiers and who approved torture techniques such as water-boarding (of Muslim terrorists) was being given an honorary degree and $35,000 by our University.
The ignorance displayed by the reactions of some who are upset by this outcome is a sign that this issue is far from over. If this entire situation has taught us anything, it’s the importance of becoming informed and active members of our society. That is the first step in creating a world where each individual’s basic human rights matter and are not violated. (Spoken by a member of the most oppressive, misogynistic, violent, homophobic, anti-semitic, anti-Christian, anti-American religious group in the world)