Would Raiji want his rights violated?

To the Daily:

I wonder how adamantly Manish Raiji would defend the elimination or curtailment of individual rights for the “benefit” of the collective if his individual rights were those being sacrificed for our common “good?”

Granted, if he were arrested and held indefinitely without evidence or public trial, it would be a real shame, considering we all know he is guilty of no wrong. But according to his logic, hey, if a few eggs have to be cracked to make an omelette, so be it. This makes perfect sense until you realize that each of these “eggs” is a living, breathing human being.

The hypocrisy of those who argue that governments should be allowed any means of “defense” including, we must assume, the murder of innocent members of the public in order to protect, who else, the public, never ceases to amaze me. Many of the same people who so rightly condemned the killing of American civilians on Sept. 11 as terrorism, are now the same individuals who say it”s OK for us to kill civilians, as long as we”re doing it for a good reason. And as long as those civilians aren”t American citizens. Although, check that Raiji also absurdly claims that it would be fine to murder countless people (necessarily including innocents and civilians) and even Americans, as long as it was done for a good cause, like the Civil War.

I thought this war against terrorism was a war against the murdering of innocents and civilians. How can we justify using the same techniques, even if that means the government isn”t killing, but “only” incarcerating indefinitely, without trial, or without evidence? The death or mistreatment of any civilian, or any innocent, for any reason, is still a crime in itself. It does not matter if that person happens to be American, Israeli, Palestinian or Afghan.

Chris Farah

Rackham

India, Israel not democratic nations

To the Daily:

Manish Raiji”s column, “Collective safety trumps individual rights,” (1/9/02) can be described as nothing more than un-American. What it suggests abridges the most basic fundamental rights of all inhabitants of this country. As an American, I am particularly offended at the suggestion of removing the Constitution from the practices of this country. To suggest that due process of law not be guaranteed is an attack on the foundations of this great nation.

Furthermore, Raiji unwittingly places the U.S. in the same group as India and Israel. He refers to these two countries as democracies, which are “plagued by individuals who aren”t playing by the rules.”

Democracies? What democracy exists in the West Bank? What democracy exists in Kashmir?

The roots of these problems are the fact that they are not democracies. The indigenous inhabitants of these territories do not have their fundamental right to self-determination.

Rather, their lives are made strenuous by strict and oppressive regulations imposed by foreign military.

In fact, just look at the annual human rights reports (see Amnesty International) of these two regions and one would quickly learn why they breed a small number of terrorists.

In his column, Raiji places the United States in the same group as oppressive countries with terrible human rights records countries which deny populations that they occupy their natural rights to hold a plebiscite to determine their fate.

Fadi Kiblawi

LSA sophomore

The letter writer is political chair of the Arab-American Anti-Discrimination Committee

Haddad not entitled to a citizen”s rights

To the Daily:

After following the story of Rabih Haddad in the Daily, I am troubled by the fact that people continue to refer to him as a citizen.

Rabih Haddad is not a citizen of the United States and is not entitled to all the rights which citizens enjoy. His visa expired, period.

If Haddad were a citizen he then would be entitled to rights which these protesters are demanding, but he is not a citizen, he is a man who allegedly supports terrorist organizations through his “charity” and remains in the this country illegally.

Andrew DeYoe

LSA junior

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