Yale Must Wake Up

Sometimes we get it right, and sometimes we get it wrong.

Yale University, in their drive to promote diversity and tolerance, has gotten it very wrong. Their decision to admit the former deputy foreign secretary of the Taliban is both puzzling and worrisome.

Who thought this would be a good idea?

The spokesman for the Taliban, a regime known for their disregard for human rights and their oppression of women and non-Muslims, should not be given a platform at one of our nation’s top universities.

The dean of undergraduate admissions disagrees saying that Sayed Rahmatullah Hashemi is “a person to be reckoned with and who could educate us about the world.” The dean also explained that they were eager to have Hashemi as a student because they lost another student with similar credentials to Harvard.

Since when does academic competition trump principle? And what are we supposed to learn about the world from the atrocities of the Taliban?

How did he get a visa? To apply for a visa you must answer a question about belonging to a terrorist organization. While the Taliban may not be an officially recognized terrorist group, they are certainly our enemy in Afghanistan and Hashemi was their spokesman, even appearing on the Yale campus in 2001 defending many of the Taliban’s actions.

Why is our government allowing this man to live within our borders? Every day many people are denied entry to the United States, yet he continues on at Yale, lending credibility to the Taliban.

And where is the outrage on the Yale campus? While Hashemi has been attending classes at Yale for eight months, the university continues to ban other students from organizing a ROTC chapter on campus and has sought to deny military recruiters access to students on campus. I look forward to the women’s groups, the human rights advocates and others standing up, speaking out and clamoring against Hashemi’s presence on campus and the extreme views of the Taliban.

Both Yale and those within our government who approved this visa must wake up and right this wrong. While diversity may be a noble ideal, tolerance and understanding end where torture and oppression begin.

Continuing to allow this man to stay in the United States studying at Yale is a mistake and sends the wrong message to other students, the American people and the world about our values and our commitment to defending them.

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