Sunday, December 6, 2009

Muslim Student Charged With Killing Professor

On Friday, Binghamton University Professor Emeritus Richard Antoun was stabbed to death in his office.

A Muslim graduate student from Saudi Arabia named Abdulsalam al-Zahrani has been charged with murder.

Evidently, Antoun was scheduled to review al-Zahrani's graduate thesis.

Gerald Mollen, the DA of Broome County, has stated the attack was neither motivated by religion or ethnicity.

So what was motivated al-Zahrani to kill a 77-year-old academic? Antoun was an anthropologist who studied Islamic law amongst other things. If Antoun was killed as he was going to review al-Zahrani's graduate thesis it logically begs the question as to what his thesis was about.

Of course, it is entirely possible the killing was as a result of something else altogether. The authorities always hold back information from the public. The killer and the victim knew each other and there could be something in the nature of the relationship outside of either academia or religion that could have also been a factor.

But given the fact the Antoun was killed in his office leads me back to the thesis. I cannot help but think al-Zahrani's thesis was connected to Islam in some way. I also cannot help but think that Antoun was criticial of al-Zahrani's thesis. Consequently, al-Zahrani could not take Antoun's criticism or thought Antoun had insulted Mohammed and responded by killing him.

Antoun's friends and colleagues describe him as a nice guy without an enemy in the world. He also defended the Muslim community in the wake of the attacks of September 11, 2001. In one interview, Antoun said, "Muslims in general get portrayed in a bad light."

Like Richard Antoun, Daniel Pearl was a Jew who sought out greater cross cultural understanding from the Muslim world. As we all know, his efforts towards achieving tolerance were not reciprocated.

1 comment:

chicago property management said...

It is a senseless violence... oh, when will this ever stop? :-(