Captain's Quarters Blog

« Did The Germans Pay Ransom To Terrorists? | Main | France Wants Moussaoui Back »

May 4, 2006
Taliban Man Ups The Ante

The admission of former Taliban ambassador-at-large Sayed Rahmatullah Hashemi into a non-degree program at Yale has caused an eruption of anger at the storied Ivy League institution. Despite catcalls from the press and alumni, Yale has refused to reconsider its supposedly prestigious "get" in light of his service to a brutally oppressive regime. Now Hashemi has escalated the stakes for Yale and its detractors by applying for admission into a degree program, creating another tripwire for further controversy:

A student at Yale University who was once a roving ambassador for the Taliban regime in Afghanistan has applied for admission to a degree-granting program, putting new pressure on university officials in an emotionally charged political debate over his presence at Yale.

The student, Sayed Rahmatullah Hashemi, 27, began taking courses at Yale last summer in a nondegree program for untraditional students. After an article about his experience appeared in The New York Times Magazine on Feb. 26, Yale was fiercely criticized in opinion articles in The Wall Street Journal and in other newspapers and magazines, as well as on cable news shows and Web sites.

Four alumni began a blog, Nail Yale, that questioned why someone they described as "an apologist for a brutal, misogynistic, terrorist-abetting tyranny" was being allowed to attend one of the country's most selective universities. And some families of victims of the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, and of American servicemen and women in Afghanistan accused the university of harboring a representative of a regime that had committed myriad crimes and repeatedly violated human rights. ...

Now Yale faces the question of whether to admit Mr. Hashemi on a more formal basis to a program that leads to an undergraduate degree. Yale's president, Richard C. Levin, declined a request for an interview and has generally not spoken publicly about Mr. Hashemi. He did tell The Yale Daily News, the student newspaper, that the admissions office would decide whether to allow Mr. Hashemi to pursue a Yale degree.

This cannot have come as great news to the executive offices at Yale. They had tried to weather the storm their admissions office created when it granted Hashemi access to courses, trying to stand on the principle of academic freedom and the encouragement of an open market of ideas. This came as quite a shock to the ROTC, which has struggled for decades to get the access to Yale's campus that the admissions office blithely gave this mouthpiece for Islamofascism and oppression.

As an aside, the reason Yale doesn't allow the ROTC back on campus is because of the "don't ask, don't tell" policy of the US military towards gays and lesbians. Perhaps Yale can explain this policy in light of the admission of Hashemi, who represented a government that routinely executed homosexuals.

The Yale admissions office now has a clear choice, and can no longer hide behind the facade of Hashemi's non-degree status. If they grant Hashemi access to the full range of Yale student privileges, they will send an unmistakable signal that celebrity matters more to Yale than principle, political correctness more than academics, and terrorists more than our own military. This is not an issue of tolerance, a laughable supposition on a campus that makes military service as inconvenient as possible while celebrating the "diversity" of admitting a key member of one of the most intolerant governments in the past fifty years. It's an issue of values -- and whether Yale actually has any at all.

Sphere It Digg! View blog reactions
Posted by Ed Morrissey at May 4, 2006 6:48 AM

Trackback Pings

TrackBack URL for this entry is


Design & Skinning by:
m2 web studios

blog advertising


Proud Ex-Pat Member of the Bear Flag League!