Caribbean event a
Re: “Wave patrons spit on, harass UCC
gamers,” Jan. 27, 2004
To the Editor:
As a member of the Caribbean Students’ Organization,
I was not only at The Wave on Saturday night, but at DV8 night
club on Friday night, both events part of the CSO’s culture
Firstly, on behalf of my fellow Caribbean people, I would
like to apologize dearly to the gamers (members of the Western
Electronic Gaming Association) who were disrupted and disrespected
by patrons attending our event.
Secondly, to my Caribbean people, what have we come to? On
both nights, I felt threatened by unruly people who were obviously
just as distraught as me over the terrible running/planning
of the events. We should not have to wait in line for hours
just to get in or to get our coats. With a pre-purchased ticket,
I did not even get in on Saturday night.
However, there is absolutely no excuse for such behaviour
on our parts. Next time (not that I will be there), I hope
that we as a people will be able to show each other and other
Western associations more respect than we did that weekend.
To infinity and beyond!
To the Editor:
How egocentric is it to assume that life has formed on a planet
so close to our own. Billions of dollars are being wasted
trying to analyze whether or not there was once life on Mars.
If we ever hope to make real progress, we must first take
a few small steps from our planet. A base on the moon would
be a start, allowing manufacturing with lunar minerals and
lower gravity (and no atmosphere), allowing for much easier
transport. This will allow for supplies to be sent to Mars
readily and support research teams. Maybe once we have an outpost
on Mars we can then spend time on the question of “is
there life?,” instead of making little progress studying
it from Earth.
The problem is the public and their perception. Huge amounts
of money are being put towards preventing our own deaths, but
not to other sciences. Here’s a news flash: we all die.
An extra two years of your life sounds good but it’s
at the cost of the advancement of the human race. I’m
not saying to eliminate health research and let us die at 30-years-olds
like we used to, but just make sure it is not the main (or
only) focus of our research.
When viewing what happened during the space race, it was amazing
to see the results. People cared and wanted to contribute to
the world around them because they had a collective goal to
work towards. In this “what’s in it for me” world,
people need something they can rally behind. Instead of constantly
hearing news about murders, muggings, etc., it would be excellent
to hear more progression and plans for the future which we
could believe and know could happen.
Master’s Mechanical Engineering II
IAC clears the air about flyers
To the Editor:
We at the Israel Action Committee would like to offer our
sincerest apologies to Muslim students at Western for undue
harm caused by a flyer recently distributed at an IAC table
in the University Community Centre atrium. While it is
no excuse, the flyer was circulated by mistake — one
that we take full responsibility for. Please understand
that upon our realization the flyer could be misinterpreted
in a way that would unacceptably offend students (Muslim
or otherwise) at Western, we immediately removed the flyer
At the IAC, we try to model ourselves after the free and democratic
state of Israel. Like Canada, Israel knows the importance of
its diversity and multi-culturalism — a virtue strongly
supported by its Arab Muslim community of approximately 1.5
million citizens. As such, it is extremely important for us
to maintain strong relations with Muslim students at Western
and the Muslim Students’ Association, and we will continue
to work to this end.
Another concern of the IAC and more importantly, the state
of Israel, is the quality of life in the Middle East and all
major factors that could diminish this. Extremist Islamic Fundamentalists
(more aptly called Islamists) have used a perverted version
of Islam to invite violence in both Israel and Muslim Middle
Eastern nations alike (not to mention the United States, as
the World Trade Center was portrayed in our misguided flyer).
The actions of these fanatics have and must continue to be
condemned by all life and peace-loving citizens of the world.
We at the IAC have full recognition that the heinous actions
of these individuals, incited by their leaders, is quite un-Islamic,
and we urge you to join us in this condemnation.
We recognize Canadian Muslims as another group that must,
too often, combat racism. Please know that you have our full
and complete support. We are proud of the groundbreaking efforts
of some Muslim Western students in combating new inequitable
laws in France that have banned Muslims, as well as other identifiable
religious groups, from outwardly wearing symbols of their faith.
We are proud to support such initiatives and you should know
that we look forward to continuing to support these types of
efforts — just as Israel would. May this represent the
beginning of a new partnership in support of diversity, tolerance,
equality and peace between our groups and other campus groups
that support the pluralistic values that we know both of our
groups strive for.
Israel Action Committee
Hijab-wearing an individual decision
Re: “On the hijab,” Jan. 20, 2004
To the Editor:
After reading Andy Patton’s letter, it surprised me individuals
assume men force the hijab onto women. I apologize for disappointing
your assumption, Andy, but I am an educated Muslim woman who
acknowledges my rights and is confident in defending them,
because I have my God-given proof stated in the Holy Qur’an.
Your claim that various Muslim “scholars,” whose
credibility I would surely question, do not believe the hijab
is obligatory is really of no relevance. Islam, like any other
religion, should not be judged by its people, but by its scripture,
which was revealed by God. Since the Quran was revealed in
the Arabic language, we must understand its meanings by reference
to the usage and conventions of that language. Translations,
however accurate they may be, often do not properly convey
the full nuances of the revealed word.
The specific verse on the hijab in the Qur’an states: “And
tell the believing women to lower their eyes, and guard their
modesty, and that they display not their ornaments except what
appears of them. And that they draw their scarves (khumurihinna)
over their bosoms… ” (Q. 24:31).
The word ‘khumurihinna’ in Arabic is the plural
of ‘khimar’ which is defined as a “woman’s
head covering; a piece of cloth with which a woman covers her
head.” Thus, the hijab is an essential part of the Islamic
faith and not merely a matter of Arabic custom.
Furthermore, your mentioning of certain Islamic states imposing
the hijab on women is parallel to France imposing a ban on
the hijab, because in both instances, freedom of choice is
taken away. The Qur’an clearly states: “There is
no compulsion in religion.” God gives us the guidelines
and laws of life, and it is a personal decision to accept those
laws, given that the individual is responsible for those decisions.
If taking action against the main trend in society means I
will continue to uphold my Islamic values, and not subject
myself to superficial standards set by advertisers who want
to make the most money, then I am proud to be the deviant.
Holocaust comparison is out of bounds
To the Editor:
In his youth, my grandfather was a religious man who trained
to be a rabbi. Now, he avoids or rushes all the ceremonies
and services that used to delight him. He’s not sure
whether God is a malicious deity or if God just doesn’t
exist at all. He can’t imagine that the God he grew
up loving would allow him to be dragged from his home and
exploited for slave labor. He doesn’t understand how
a benevolent God could stand by while his family was marched
off to gas chambers. He finds it impossible to keep his faith
when he used to go to sleep breathing a thick, acrid smoke
that was the remains of his loved ones.
Recently, a flyer was handed out on campus that compared the
intifada with the uprising at the Warsaw Ghetto. The implication
is that the Israeli government is comparable to the Nazis.
It’s clear the Israeli government, like all governments,
is far from perfect. That some people attempt to defend all
Israel’s actions as justifiable is proof that dogma is
sometimes stronger than reason.
That being said, it is an inexcusable insult to my grandfather
and countless other victims of the Holocaust to compare a democratic
government that has made mistakes to a group of people who
deliberately murdered millions of Jews, homosexuals, Gypsies
and disabled people.
To the individuals responsible for the flyer, how dare you
cheapen the ordeal my family went through for your own political
gain. I am ashamed to go to the same school with such people.
A $14 break
Re: “A lost $14,” Jan. 27, 2004
To the Editor:
I would like to know whether or not Mr. Janiszewski has ever
missed a class while at university. He is, in fact, in fourth
year, and if he’s never missed a lecture, then I guess
I can see how he would be upset about the $14 he paid for
that cancelled lecture.
But come on! Most of us are relieved that in our busy schedule
we get an hour or two off to go for a beer, grab some much-needed
sleep or maybe even go and study. Some of us might gladly pay
$14 once a semester to not have to listen to a boring professor.
My advice to you, Mr. Janiszewski, is to not be such a tight