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An Overview of the Entire Controversy
Fall: 9/11/01 - 12/18/01
Aftermath: 12/19/01 - 1/31/02
Second Thoughts: 2/1/02 - 3/19/02
Alarums & Excursions: 3/19/02 - 6/10/02
Summertime: 6/11/02 - 8/20/02
Current Events: 8/21/02 -

The Issues

in the controversy over

the possible termination of

USF Professor Sami Al-Arian

This page outlines the issues involving the possible termination of Professor Al-Arian.

Injustice anywhere
is a threat to justice
-- Martin L. King, Jr.

In a kiln, the radiation from the heated air so saturates the space inside the kiln that a heat-proof camera, placed inside the kiln to take a picture of a pot or vase, gets only a reddish blur.
Similarly, in controversy, if the air gets too hot, then it is impossible to even make out the outlines of the real issues amidst the reddish blur of heated and irrelevant rhetoric.

The purpose of these pages is to highlight the primary issues involved in this case.

There are three major issues involved, and we have a page for each.

  • This is about freedom itself. Professor Al-Arian got into trouble for saying unpopular things, and this leads to the question: in America, should people get into trouble for saying unpopular things?
  • This is also about law and order. When the government itself --- when an agency of the State of Florida --- wilfully violates an individual's constitutional, contractual, and due process rights, it is breaking the law.
  • This is about academic freedom. Academic freedom is not just a special right of scholars to speak, it is also a right of the public to hear what scholars have to say. An attack on academic freedom is in fact at attack on the public interest.

Elsewhere on this website, we have pages on: