November 25, 2003  
Volume 97, Issue 48  

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UWO nostalgia

Re: “Sexpert offers a few tips for the tip,” Nov. 18, 2003

To the Editor:
A friend from Tennessee, knowing me as a Western grad, sent me a link to your “Sexpert” story, perhaps feeling that this was some sort of proof of Western journalism hitting a new low.

I was disappointed that this missive from the Deep South failed to grasp the educational nature of this educational primer.

Keep up the good work. God, I miss Western.

Mike McCann
H.B.A. 1974
Woodstock, ON

Happy medium

Re: “Respect Life,” Nov. 18, 2003

To the Editor:
Ethical debate on matters of scientific importance is essential for justification and responsibility issued to researchers. If something will end up having profound implications on our moral foundations, then we should be given opportunities to find out how we really feel on the matter before charging ahead.

The issue of embryonic stem cell research is a prime example of such controversy. Obviously, there is a varying array of opinion on the matter, as seen by the recent opinion letters. While these opinions are valid, the hard part is actually making public policy on such matters.

The main issue of contention is the moral status of the embryo. It is true that an embryo has not yet acquired all of the moral status deserving of a person, but in no way does that mean it has no moral status at all. An embryo has a unique genome and has already achieved the first step to become a human being (conception). However, to say it has anything more than a potential to become a person is only ideology.

Taking a moderate position and analyzing the risks (objectification of human embryos) versus the benefits (regenerative medicine for neurological disorders, creation of replacement organs, understanding cancer development) is the only way to justify the research.

Embryonic stem cell research is controversial, but to base public policy on biased and extreme points of view while ignoring the inherent risks and benefits will do nothing to add to the ongoing ethical debate. Proceeding cautiously with continued debate is our only and best option.

Mark Weir
Diploma in Ethics

It'd be funny if it was the same guy

To the Editor:

Whoever said chivalry was dead never met the Western male population. There he was, armour or no armour, standing in line at the poster sale ready to help a damsel in distress (i.e. me).

When I got up to the cash register, I was unexpectedly a couple dollars short. I was pretty embarrassed about the situation, but this nice guy spotted me a few dollars and a little bit of faith while asking nothing in return.

Since I don’t know who he is, I’m asking you to help me get the message out there. To the great guy who so kindly helped me when I needed it, thanks for picking up the slack and making my day that much better.

Irene Velentzas
Science I

To the Editor:

This is to the person who backed into my car in the Silver City parking lot this past Friday night and left without leaving a note. I hope you break your right arm and your left leg because that is what it’s costing me to fix my car now. Thanks for nothing, asshole.

Kasia Pytlik
Health Sciences IV

Ignoring civil liberties in Canada?

Re: “Western link to Syrian torture case,” Nov. 18, 2003

To the Editor:
I would like to thank The Gazette for its interview of Youssuf Almalki, brother of Abdullah Almalki, who has been unjustly imprisoned in Syria for nearly 18 months. The most striking aspect of Abdullah’s story is that, as a Canadian citizen, he was imprisoned in his native Syria, which he hasn’t laid eyes on in 16 years. What motive could the Syrian government possibly have in detaining Abdullah, who has never been convicted of a crime in Syria or even Canada? Reflecting on Maher Arar’s case may shed some light on the matter.

Maher was detained after a stop over in the United States en route to Canada from Tunisia. U.S. authorities interrogated Maher, then flew him back to Jordan, after which he too was incarcerated and tortured in a Syrian prison. The relentless efforts of Maher’s wife in mobilizing the Canadian government to intervene led to Maher’s eventual release 10 months later. Like Abdullah, Maher is also a dual Canadian-Syrian citizen and has a clean record in Syria, Canada and the U.S.. Recent information revealed by the U.S. and Canada has hinted Canadian officials actually instigated Maher’s deportation. This leads to the possibility that Abdullah too was a victim of Canadian injustice.

This indeed is a shameful period in Canada’s history. We pride ourselves of being at the forefront of justice and liberty, however our government has failed to even uphold the most fundamental charters in human rights to its own citizens. As Western students, it is our duty to come to the aid of our fellow Western student, Youssuf, in returning his brother safely to Canada. As Canadians it is our duty to write to our respective members of Parliament and demand that the civil liberties of all Canadians be valued and protected.

Rami Sultan
Muslim Students’ Association Presiden




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