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Pre-2003 Arabic Instruction at USF

Reader comment on item: On New York's "Khalil Gibran International Academy"

Submitted by DanteAmongtheHypocrites (United States), Mar 16, 2007 at 17:08

I have often wondered how trustworthy Arabic instruction, which is often taught concurrently with cultural knowledge, is at the University of South Florida, which attained top-tier Doctoral Research University status in 2000.

USF's service area includes CENTCOM and SOCOM. Our armed forces in the Tampa Bay area depend on USF for reliable language instruction by qualified instructors.

A little known fact in this Arabic language instruction case is that prior to 2003 at the same time our forces from Tampa were preparing for deployment in the Middle East, USF had employed as its Arabic language instructor one Sameh Hammoudeh.

Hammoudeh was indicted and captured in 2003 and later deported for his association with the Palestinian Islamic Jihad, as the trial USA v. Sami Amin Al-Arian, et. al. realized in 2006. He was in the university's doctoral anthropology program at the time of his arrest and had been teaching Arabic through the department of linguistics.

As has been disclosed in Tampa media, USF's PIJ leaders had a keen interest in MacDill Air Force Base, home to CENTCOM and SOCOM, at the time their think-tank/front organization, World Islam and Studies Enterprise had partnered with USF.

One PIJ leader who visited MacDill, Ramadan Shallah, packed up suddenly and left to allegedly tend to his "ailing father," and then later announced to the world that he would fill the position of the recently assassinated Fathi Al-Shakiki. Later the feds raided his apartment and founds official books printed by CENTCOM that Shallah had left behind.

The linguistics department had employed previously another graduate student in the early 1990s who also would be deported because of his involvement with the PIJ, Mazen Al-Najjar, brother-in-law to the now confessed PIJ facilitator and jailed Sami Al-Arian. Al-Najjar was an doctoral student of engineering.

One must wonder how many other DRU's in America share in this legacy. In light of it, I'd be most wary of the quality of Arabic language instruction and the concurrent imparting of Arabic cultural data at universities located near our nation's military institutions, foreign service sector, and intelligence agencies.

Submitting....

Note: Opinions expressed in comments are those of the authors alone and not necessarily those of Daniel Pipes. Original writing only, please. Comments are screened and in some cases edited before posting. Reasoned disagreement is welcome but not comments that are scurrilous, off-topic, commercial, disparaging religions, or otherwise inappropriate. For complete regulations, see the "Guidelines for Reader Comments".

Daniel Pipes replies:

Yes, I wrote about Hammoudeh and his colleagues at "Terrorist Profs."

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Note: Opinions expressed in comments are those of the authors alone and not necessarily those of Daniel Pipes. Original writing only, please. Comments are screened and in some cases edited before posting. Reasoned disagreement is welcome but not comments that are scurrilous, off-topic, commercial, disparaging religions, or otherwise inappropriate. For complete regulations, see the "Guidelines for Reader Comments".

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