Raiji”s column reveals “biased viewpoint”

To the Daily:

Over the past four years I have read the Daily on a daily basis. While I do not always agree with the viewpoints of the editorial staff, I respect the right to freedom of speech. Thus, I continue to read the viewpoints and articles published by the paper.

However, today I believe that Manish Raiji (“I don”t care if God tells you it”s wrong,” 1/23/02), while exercising his right to the First Amendment, crossed the line of respect that we all must exhibit at this university in order to coexist with others from a multitude of backgrounds. He has an excellent point. It is better to argue with persons of opposing viewpoints from a vantage point that both parties share, which in many cases is not a religious one.

Yet, in the process of making his point Raiji offends with sweeping statements and brash accusations. He may not be speaking from a religious viewpoint, but he is certainly speaking from a biased one. Ironically, his argument seems to contradict another elementary rule of debate: Do not use anger and insults to prove your point.

I hope the Daily will consider preventing Raiji from publishing further columns.

Hannah Murray

Engineering senior

U.S. built on blood, exploitation

To the Daily:

Frankly, I am outraged by the Daily”s printing of David Taub”s letter (“Guantanamo detainees should “rot in hell”,” 01/23/02). The level of intelligence exhibited by Taub and the editors of this newspaper in writing and printing this farce makes me wonder how many people are actually being educated at this university.

The Daily states that it will not print baseless attacks, but perhaps this statement only holds true for causes that the editors favor. Taub responded to a well-written and logically argued article with a letter full of little more than racist and xenophobic trash. He calls the Taliban fighters “monsters” and “barbarians” without realizing that most of these men were simply “patriots protecting their homeland from foreign attack.” Wait a minute, aren”t we doing that as well? Why aren”t we “barbarians” or “monsters”? Is it because we are white, Christian or American?

It is funny how you could almost use Mr. Taub”s arguments against the U.S. just as he uses them against Afghanistan. “These Americans kill without reason, having an impassioned love of money, power and control. Their goal in life is to make money, regardless of how many lives they destroy. They are without remorse and would rather die with as much money and power as possible”. I could continue, but since I”m criticizing the U.S. rather than kicking Afghanistan and its defenders, the Daily won”t print this story anyway, so why bother? In short, Mr. Taub must realize that this country was built on the blood and exploitation of countless innocent human beings and nations and we have no right to damn others for doing as we have done in the past.

Taub may believe that the Taliban soldiers can “rot in hell”, but I”d prefer that the space be reserved for men of Mr. Taub”s ilk who would prefer to not offer prisoners of war basic human rights and protections. After all, “hell” is built just as much for evil Americans as it is evil Afghans.

Sean Caron

Engineering freshman

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