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The news that a former Taliban official has enrolled at Yale had many people scratching their heads, wondering what the Ivy League university's admissions department was thinking when they allowed Sayed Rahmatullah Hashemi to attend classes. The former deputy foreign secretary of the brutal regime claimed that he had grown up since the fall of the Taliban and wants to pursue his continuing education. However, as John Fund notes, the 27-year-old Islamist apparatchik has not exactly turned over a new leaf:
He does say that some of his views have changed. "I was very young then," Mr. Rahmatullah, now 27, told the Yale Daily News last week. "At that age, you don't really have the same sensibilities that you may have later." He has told fellow students he now believes in free speech and the right of women to vote. He told the New York Times the Taliban were bad for his country because "the radicals were taking over and doing crazy stuff," implying that the early days of Taliban rule were benign. He says he believes that after graduation, he can serve as a bridge between the Muslim world and the West.
If that's true, it's time that Yale and the State Department, which issued his student visa, realize that there's evidence his views are still pretty unreconstructed and, in fact, would be rejected by most of the world's Muslims. Mr. Rahmatullah isn't giving interviews now, but last Wednesday he did talk with Tim Reid of the Times of London. He acknowledged he had done poorly in his class "Terrorism: Past, Present and Future," something he attributed to his disgust with the textbooks. "They would say the Taliban were the same as al Qaeda," he told the Times. ...
One shouldn't depend on one interview for a full picture of someone's current views. But late last year, Mr. Rahmatullah wrote an essay titled "Ignorance! Not an Option," which appeared on the Web site of the International Education Foundation, the charity headed by CBS contract cameraman-producer Mike Hoover that is sponsoring Mr. Rahmatullah's stay in the U.S. In the essay, Mr. Rahmatullah takes Americans to task for both their "xenophobic" attitudes and ignorance of the Taliban. He claims the Taliban "were too ignorant to know that their guest"--Osama bin Laden--"was harming other people." He concludes that the Taliban "honestly practiced what they had learned in their religious schools. They did what they had been taught to do. Whether what they had been taught was good or bad is another subject." If this is sincere repentance, Yale needs to acknowledge that at the school that fathered literary deconstructionism, the term has lost its meaning.
Why doesn't the connection to CBS surprise me?
In the embarrassment of this revelation, Yale has clammed up about Hashemi's acceptance and recruitment. The former dean of admissions told Fund that he didn't want to lose another high-profile foreign student to Harvard, but now refuses to give Fund a follow-up interview after Fund discovered the rather unreconstructed viewpoint of Hashemi. Another current faculty member told Fund that if he persisted, he would tell other media outlets that Fund was "slimy", a charge that sounds a bit ironic given Yale's red-carpet treatment to an official of one of the most oppressive and anti-liberal regimes of the late 20th century.
And let's remember that while Yale opens its doors and arms to a man who belonged to a government that would chop the fingers off of women who dared to paint their nails and forbade the flying of kites, it still refuses to allow the military to recruit and for the ROTC to train on its campus. Why? Because of the "don't ask, don't tell" policy of the US armed forces. Why doesn't Yale ask Hashemi how the Taliban treated homosexuals? The US military just gives gays general discharges -- it doesn't bulldoze brick walls onto their prostrate bodies.
Yale wants to believe that it is showing courage and a commitment to diversity by allowing Hashemi to attend Yale. The diversity that the university worships would never have been tolerated by the government that Hashemi served as a highly-placed official, and rewarding his career as a fascist oppressor with admission to one of the most prestigious universities in the world sends the wrong message for those who believe in freedom and liberty. Yale has shamed itself by not only admitting Hashemi but actively recruiting him for their campus. Yale students should note the hypocrisy and wonder why the university values a Taliban official more than the military that protects the freedoms that Yale supposedly professed with this choice.Sphere It View blog reactions
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