A student who destroyed a 9/11 commemorative flag display will face a $500 fine and disciplinary probation.
As Campus Reform reported last month, members of Young America’s Foundation at Washington University in St. Louis placed 2,977 American flags on campus to honor the lives lost in the terrorist attacks. However, a student senator named Fadel Alkilani was filmed collecting the flags in garbage bags.
A report from WashU dean of students Sheryl Mauricio confirmed that Alkilani was untruthful in telling a campus police officer that he was a member of WashU College Republicans; he allegedly shared that the group ordered new flags to replace the ones he was collecting.
On Oct. 20, YAF — which immediately pressured the university to denounce the vandalism — reported that Alkilani received multiple sanctions from administrators. Among other violations, Alkilani was charged with knowingly furnishing false information to the university, theft, and interfering with the rights of other members of the university community to “engage in educational, recreational, residential, administrative, professional, business, and ceremonial activities.”
In addition to a $500 restitution for the damaged flags, Alkilani will be placed on probation for the remainder of his enrollment. If he commits further violations, he could be suspended or expelled.
Alkilani will also have to complete an essay to “encourage meaningful reflection on his actions and their impact on other members of our community.”
“It was great to see the school take real disciplinary action, but considering the significance of Fadel’s actions I had hoped to see more,” WashU College Republicans chairman Nick Rodriguez told YAF.
“This case was a unique one, and understanding the lack of precedence, it would have been great to see the school clearly state they would not stand for this behavior. College Republicans plan to pursue his impeachment from the Student Union.”
In remarks to the campus newspaper after the incident became public, Alkilani said the flags were a “political prop,” and that he was fighting “Islamophobia.”
“A memorial which uses U.S. 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,” he said.
“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,” Alkilani added.
This is an excerpt from Campus Reform.
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