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Letter to President Pamela Whitten, University of Indiana, Re: Indiana Univeristy Promotes Terrorism

December 20, 2022

Dear President Pamela Whitten:

It is more than disappointing to learn that Indiana University has given its imprimatur to convicted terrorist Sami Al-Arian.

After pleading guilty in 2006 to conspiring to provide benefits to the PIJ, presiding federal Judge James S. Moody called Al-Arian "a master manipulator. You looked your neighbors in the eyes and said you had nothing to do with the Palestinian Islamic Jihad. This trial exposed that as a lie. Your back-up claim is that your efforts were only to provide charities for widows and orphans. That, too, is a lie. The evidence was clear in this case that you were a leader of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad. You were on the board of directors and an officer, the secretary. Directors control the actions of an organization, even the PIJ; and you were an active leader."

In March 1996 Palestine Islamic Jihad, was responsible for a suicide bombing in Dizengoff Center in which 20 people were murdered and 75 maimed. It has been a designated foreign terrorist organization by the United States since October 8, 1997.

Earlier this month Al-Arian was invited to participate in a webinar sponsored in part by the Indiana University School of Law and the Indiana University Muslim Philanthropy Institute. The question is why?

Arian has been recorded exhorting a large audience: "Jihad is our path. Victory to Islam. Death to Israel".

As Federal Judge Moody made clear, Al-Arian is a documented leader of Palestine Islamic Jihad, one of the most murderous jew killing organizations of our time.

Yet moderator Cindy M. Lott fawned over his ".academic credentials" while prevaricating about his terrorism conviction and background. (Al-Arian "is the director of the Center for Islamic Global Affairs and Public Affairs Professor at Istanbul Zaim University in Turkey..He has numerous publications in many interrelated fields including education, research, religion,interfaith and he is coming at us today specifically around the areas of civil rights and human rights")

Since Al-Arian with his "academic credentials " has led PIJ in its efforts in jew killing, there is no doubt Ms Lott would have also fawned over the many members of the Wannsee Conference who had doctoral degrees and also were successful at Jew killing.

For Indiana University to give its imprimatur to Sami Al-Arian is to have the bloody jew killing history PIJ, the organization he has led, to splash across the campus at Bloomington. That now is part of your legacy whether you like it or not.

Thank you for your time..

Richard Sherman, Margate, Florida


Response from the Indiana University

Dear Mr. Sherman,

Thank you for your email and concern about one of the panelists in the recent webinar hosted by the Lilly Family School of Philanthropy and its Muslim Philanthropy Initiative. I share these concerns and offer my sincere apology for the decision to include Sami Al-Arian on this panel, and for the impact his participation had on our community.

Though he had been recommended to those developing this session due to his academic work and recent efforts organizing a global conference on Islamophobia, we failed in our due diligence to consider his past comments and actions prior to extending an invitation to him. As a result, we have further strengthened our protocols.

Our university’s solidarity with the Jewish community is steadfast and we are committed to ensuring everyone in the IU community feels that they belong. We pride ourselves — as a school, campus, and university — for our commitment to being an inclusive community. In this case, we fell short in living up to our values in this regard.

Thank you, again, for your message and for sharing your valid and substantive concerns.


Amir Pasic

Eugene R. Tempel Dean

IU Lilly Family School of Philanthropy

Indiana University

Indianapolis, Indiana

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