ADC Update: WSU Issue
Wayne State University Apologizes For Anti-Islam Article
Contact: Rana Abbas at (313) 581-1201
March 4, 2002 [Dearborn, Michigan] - The president of Wayne State University, Dr. Irvin D. Reid, released a statement on Friday, on behalf of the University, expressing his regret that an article bashing Islam was allowed to be published in Wayne State's South End student newspaper.
In the release, Dr. Reid affirms that Wayne States does "not support the expression of cultural sensitivity, nor do we condone the denigration of people of different religions, beliefs, or cultural characteristics." He goes on the explain that the University feels "very deeply the responsibility to respond to the concerns of the greater community and to reassure the faculty, staff, students and alumni of Wayne State University that this institution will neither defend nor ignore the expression of prejudice in any medium."
The American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC) in Michigan welcomes Wayne State's immediate response to the article. As a civil rights organization, ADC asserts that such hatred and irresponsible journalism, which was evident in Joe Fisher's article, should not be granted the courtesy of being heard through a university of Wayne State's caliber.
The article, titled "Islam Sucks," and written by Wayne State Student Joe Fisher appeared in the February 26, 2002 editorial section of The South End. The author portrayed the religion of Islam as barbaric and uncivilized, citing many false explanations of religious beliefs and practices.
ADC has been communicating with Wayne State officials and will continue to do so, in an effort to assure that a similar incident will not occur in the future. Both ADC and Wayne State University are determined to proceed in the same direction and maintain open dialogue.
Imad Hamad, ADC Midwest Regional Director states, "Indeed, this was a learning experience for all of us. However, it should also be considered an opportunity for us to focus on the future and stress on constructive debate of different views and ideas. I have no doubt that a respectful institution, like Wayne State, will work to ensure that this type of careless journalism is not repeated."