Let me begin by thanking you for your well-written letter. And let me also say that I will gladly interview you in the coming days (please expect my questions within 48hrs).
As far as the substance of my post. Your father should be proud he lived in one of the last Secular, muslim-populated states. Syria, despite Western propaganda, is the only secular Arab state that has not offered or sold its balls to the West (e.g. Jordan, Egypt, and at times even Libya).
This issue has nothing to do with religion. Tel-Aviv is about nationalism, no different than the Pan-Arabism of Nasser. My gripe is not with Islam or Judaism - they are both beautiful religions, based on peace and love, and both largely misunderstood by snotty young know-it-all pseudo intellectuals that base their theories on modern disciplines and try their best to ignore the Koran & Torah, respectively.
You are correct in your historical points insofar as Swamp & Gator. But these finer points were not centrally at issue. What is at issue is 'the alternative.' The FBK/Greek Machine has the long tradition of insensitivity towards the Arab & Muslim students through the political administration's its put in office in UF-SG. That having been said, for the "Indies" to now ALSO participate in that option is a slap in the face to every Arab and Muslim student at the University of Florida -- there is now effectively NO ONE in this 'representational form of government' that represents them. If the SBT were to punish Arab groups like Nakba or Friends of Palestine, who will the Arabs & their friends take their grievance to in a Student Alliance administration - Ben Cavatero? Yeah, I'm sure he's quite unbiased -- not b/c he's Jewish (Judaism is NOT, NOT, NOT Zionism), but b/c he surely had his hand in the SBT pick, that's why!
The point, Mr. Antar, is that you should demand that SBT candidate step down to honor your father, your people, and your own individual identity. In this life, we are judged by our actions -- not merely our words or our intentions.
If you are liberated enough to break bread with and work towards mutual electoral victory with a person that's presided over an organization that supports apartheid, worse than apartheid, then you are a more liberated man than I.
Thank you for your letter. May the 4.5 million people of Palestine be restored the pre-1967 borders - per United Nations resoution. May Palestinian children not play at gunpoint, may they have access to clean water, may they be citizen in the land of their birth.
The people that suffer under Zionism, behind the the barbed wire and in fear of the tanks & air raids are not suicide bombers, they are not in PIJ, Hamas, or even Fatah. They are normal, everyday people - displaced people - tired people.
Dear Mr. Duque,
As a long time reader and avid supporter, I take offended by your most recent qcolumn entitled "A Tradition Rich in Insensitivity". I feel that your insight has been misguided and misrepresented toward an unsightful democracy. Was it not the Swamp Party that gave students the necessary funds to go to AIPAC? Was it not the Gator Party who REFUSED to CONDEMN the Radical Islam Movie?
I say these things just to illustrate my point. My name is Tyler Hisham Antar and I am running for a 3rd time with the opposition party with the Student Alliance Party. My father is a dedicated Muslim who grew up in Syria and was forced to fight in the 6 days war. I have always felt proud considering myself an Arab American running for a grad seat with the Student Alliance Party and I wouldn't have it any other way. My experiences towards the deepest darkest places of Lebanon and Dubai have taught me what its really like to be a Muslim Arab. I would love to be interviewed by you about the Student Alliance's view toward Arab-Americans. As always, you are free to re-publish my statement regardless if you interview me or not.....
Tyler Hisham Antar