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BRAVO! Muslim Student removed 9/11 flags from a college memorial citing it was a protest against U.S. military interventions and resulting Islamophobia.

Student Union Vice President of Finance Fadel Alkilani

Washington University condemned the removal of 9/11 commemorative flags from Mudd Field in a statement Saturday night but declined to say whether Student Union Vice President of Finance, who removed the flags, would face disciplinary measures.


The condemnation came as the president of the Washington University College Republicans called for Alkilani’s expulsion from the University or other punishment and as national conservative media outlets have picked up the story.

The College Republicans had placed the 2,977 flags Friday night, with each representing a victim of the 9/11 attacks.

Sophomore Nathaniel Hope saw Alkilani removing the flags on Saturday morning and started filming a video, which showed Alkilani holding multiple plastic bags containing American flags and which has circulated widely.

Alkilani defended his actions in a statement Saturday night, clarifying his intent to critique the Islamophobia and American military interventions that followed the 9/11 attacks.

Any memorial of 9/11 that does not contend with these facts is not only incomplete, but it also amplifies pro-imperialist sentiment and actively disrespects those who have died because of American Invasion,” Alkilani wrote.


Fadel’s statement:

Since 9/11, Islamophobic hate crimes have been higher than they ever were before.

The United States invaded countries in the Middle East and Central Asia, and over 900,000 people have been killed because of the wars the United States has propagated.

37 million people have been displaced, with some reports stating that number reaches up to 59 million. Any memorial of 9/11 that does not contend with these facts is not only incomplete, but it also amplifies pro-imperialist sentiment and actively disrespects those who have died because of American Invasion. A memorial which uses US flags is especially insidious, as it does not recognize those who have fallen, but uses a symbol that was on the shoulders of those who are responsible for the deaths of 900,000 people, and uses the innocent lives lost during 9/11 as a political prop upholding American hegemony.

Muslims such as I have faced fear, harassment, and Islamophobia from those who unjustly use the victims of 9/11 as a political cudgel.

Those who died during 9/11 deserve better than to be used as a political tool by those who seek to excuse American imperialism and Islamophobia. They died for no reason, suddenly and traumatically, and they should be grieved, not by political symbols, but by their names and faces.

I also want to extend my condolences to all those who have died and been injured, both American and not, since 9/11. Their deaths were preventable, and thus, extremely tragic.”

Mr. Anonymous:

MOST Amerikins have NO idea what all those big words mean, because they are uneducated and therefore ignorant fucks, (just the way the Army wants them) so they can simply put a weapon in their hands, point them east and sit back to collect the “spoils of war.” As a public service, I have underlined and highlight the BIG words so they will be easily googled. ATTEN-SHUN !!!

In his statement, Alkilani described experiencing verbal and physical harassment by both students and WUPD officers, which he said he would report through official channels. He added a note that his case is not unique.

“Muslims such as I have faced fear, harassment and Islamophobia from those who unjustly use the victims of 9/11 as a political cudgel,” Alkilani wrote. “Those who died during 9/11 deserve better than to be used as a political tool by those who seek to excuse American imperialism and Islamophobia.”

In the University’s statement, which did not mention Alkilani by name, administrators said the removal of the flags was “not on behalf of the University or a University-sponsored organization,” adding that “we value freedom of expression in all forms and will work to ensure that all students are able to express their points of view through appropriate channels without disrupting the rights of others to show support for causes they care about. This is a critical component of our core values and we are committed to facilitating free speech on our campus.”

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