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Monday, June 16, 2003

American Assoc. of University Professors (AAUP) Condemns USF President for firing Al-Arian


The Washington Post reports that the AAUP passed a resolution condemning University of South Florida President Judy Genshaft for (suspending, and then) firing Sami al-Arian without a hearing before his faculty peers. The Association stopped just short of issuing a censure.

Al-Arian was arrested in February on 50 counts of aiding Arab terrorism; the Federal indictment was 121 pages. Genshaft fired him a week later. According to David Tell, writing for FrontPageMagazine, the Justic Department has him "in constant communication with his Middle East-based peers in the Palestinian Islamic Jihad command council. They have him redrafting the last wills and testaments of soon-to-be PIJ suicide bombers--and making after-the-fact bank transfers to those "martyred" bombers' wives and children. They have him attempting to arrange ocean shipments of explosive precursor chemicals--pelletized urea fertilizer--from Saudi Arabia. They have him editing and circulating a 1995 PIJ press release boasting of responsibility for a bus bombing that killed seven Israelis and a 20-year-old American girl. In short, they have him dead to rights, covered in blood."

The Orlando Sentinel quotes a statement from Pres. Genshaft: "I cannot fathom how the AAUP can look at the same set of facts we looked at and come to the conclusion to condemn us for terminating Dr. Al-Arian. . . The criminal courts still have their job to do, but USF has found Dr. Al-Arian used his university position to support terrorism. Terminating Dr. Al-Arian was the right decision at the right time for the right reasons."

Al-Arian was scheduled to speak at CU-Boulder in early March.

You can write to the AAUP:
Mary A. Burgan, General Secretary: mburgan@aaup.org
Ruth Flower, Director of Public Policy & Communications: rflower@aaup.org