Over the past weekend, as the nation mourned the loss of life from the horrific terror attacks on 9/11 2001, Fadel Alkilani, a student leader at Washington University in St. Louis, was caught on video grabbing small U.S. flags from an on-campus display and putting them into trash bags.
The patriotic display, part of the 9/11: Never Forget Project memorial which featured 2,977 flags, representing the lives lost in the September 11, 2001, terror attacks, had been put up by the WashU College Republicans.
The video of Alkilani, a student Senator, was quickly shared on Twitter where it created a firestorm of anger. The Young Americans for Freedom called his actions ‘Despicable.’
WOW: A student senator at @WUSTL was caught on video throwing away 2,977 American flags from conservative students’ 9/11: Never Forget Project memorial.
— YAF (@yaf) September 11, 2021
The university’s College Republicans also called for him to be expelled, WashU’s student newspaper, Student Life, reported.
In a published statement, Alkilani said:
I had no intention of removing the flags from the Mudd Field area, and my full protest did not have the chance to be actualized. My planned protest was to place the bags of flags on Mudd field, along with various statistics (including those below) explaining the human cost of 9/11 in the past 20 years.
Alkilani’s statement goes on to say that the 9/11 memorial display was “incomplete” because it did nothing to call attention to the victims of Islamophobia in the U.S., or the civilian casualties in the Middle East as a result of American military involvement.
Alkilani added: “Any memorial of 9/11 that does not contend with these facts is not only incomplete, but it also amplifies pro-imperialist sentiment and actively disrespects those who have died because of American Invasion.”
But as the Charlotte Observer reported:
Nick Rodriguez, WashU College Republicans president, told Student Life that Alkilani “made a mockery” of one of America’s darkest days.
“What does it say to be a top American institution, and have yourself represented by a student leader who has no respect for property, campus traditions or the remembrance of thousands of lost lives,” Rodriguez told the outlet. “Today is about remembering the tragedy, 20 years ago to the day, not to make a political statement. Any reason he can conjure to remove the flags I find ludicrous.”
I would add it is beyond ludicrous; it is offensive, unacceptable, and un-American. ADN