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Letter to Kent State

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    And struggle until there is no more oppression and the religion will all be for Allaah alone We ask Allaah to bring the Muslims back to their religion. May
    Message 1 of 1 , Nov 1, 2004
      And struggle until there is no more oppression and the religion will
      all be for Allaah alone We ask Allaah to bring the Muslims back to
      their religion. May Allaah send blessings and peace upon our Prophet

      Dr. Assad Pino

      Associate Professor of History

      Department of History

      Kent State University

      Letter to the DAILY KENT STATER

      The people of Grozny, Chechnya, wept for the children of Beslan, in
      nearby North Ossetia, as did families everywhere. But, many asked, in
      the words of Roza Gaitayeva: "Who is weeping for our children? They
      are dying every day."

      New York Times, October 3, 2004

      On Saturday, Oct. 16, Kent State University is planning to host,
      with the cooperation of the embassy of the Russian Federation, a
      musical benefit to honor the children kidnapped and killed in Beslan,
      Russia last September on the first day of the school year. This piano
      concert is a five-finger exercise in hypocrisy. By collaborating with
      the very government that initiated a decade of war in Chechnya, and
      turning a blind eye to the daily suffering of Chechen boys and girls,
      Kent State is enabling ethnic cleansing. The children at Beslan were
      taken hostage, and this is an outrage that must be condemned. But,
      what do you call it when an entire nation is held prisoner? More than
      60,000 Chechens have been killed by the Russian occupiers during the
      last decade, and another 260,000 driven to exile. President Vladimir
      Putin---putative soul mate of George W. Bush---calls it bizness,
      using the lingo of the Russian mafia. Amnesty International and other
      human rights organizations call it genocide.

      Before staging this dubious humanitarian event, Kent State should
      weigh carefully the words of the international aid group Doctors
      Without Borders, which has recently issued a report entitled The
      Trauma of Ongoing War in Chechnyabased on testimony from Chechens who
      remained at home under the Russian boot, and refugees in the
      neighboring Republic of Ingushetia: More than one in five had seen
      killings, and nearly half had seen maltreatment of family. About 90%
      of people in the Chechen camps and 80% in Ingushetia had had someone
      close to them die as a result of war-related violence. Ongoing
      conflict in Chechnya continues to disrupt people's lives. Over a
      third of people in Ingushetia felt unsafe, while in Chechnya two-
      thirds expressed concern about their security. Seven percent of
      people in Chechnya and 9% in Ingushetia reported that a family member
      had died in the 2 months before survey, many as a result of violence.
      The arrest or disappearance of friends or neighbors was common on
      both sides of the border.

      Grozny is a ghost-town reduced to ashes and rubble, much like
      Leningrad in World War II. Then, Soviet soldiers fought fascism.
      Today, Russian commandos ordered by Putin make fascism an ordinary
      event. A child in Chechnya is exposed every day, and not just on the
      opening of school, to crossfire, aerial bombardments, and mortar
      fire. Their mothers are seized under the pretext of yet another
      alleged war on terror, and fathers and brothers made to disappear
      into the night and fog by the Russian Ministry of the Interior; a
      technique that would have made Josef Stalin, or any Latin American
      death squad leader, proud and envious. Kent State is very far from
      Grozny, but with thirsty ears we can hearken to the cry of the
      children in that anguished, ruined city: Give us a concert, and a
      chance to live!



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