This item is available on the Militant Islam Monitor website, at http://www.militantislammonitor.org/article/id/2510
November 4, 2006
MIM: U of Penn president Amy Gutman with Saad Saadi engineering student and suicide bomber wannabe
Gutman, who has a degree in political science claimed "this year one student who had a toy gun in his hand had his picture taken with me before I realised he was dressed as a suicide bomber".
Maybe the U Penn president with a degree in political science thought that Saadi was disquised as a Middle Eastern version of the Energizer Bunny with a keffiyah headband in lieu of rabbit ears carrying dynamite sticks in place of batteries?
It doesnt take a degree in rocket or political science to see that the 'toy gun' Gutman refers to is a full size replica of an AK 47 aka Kalisnikov , the mendaciousness of her denial that she didnt realise what Saad was dressed was by the original caption to the picture on Saadi's Facebook webpage read "I asked if I could take a picture of me pointing the gun at her but she refused". Obviously Gutman did notice the gun if she declined to be a good sport and let Saadi point it at her for a pic,or are we to believe that she nixed the gun pose because it would have shown her 'bad side' to the camera? Apparently Gutman was also clueless to the fact that several mock executions were taking place inside her home - with 'victims' kneeling in her garden with their hands behind their heads in various rooms of her house while Saadi stood next to them reading a Koran as his friend 'Jason', also dressed a suicide bomber, pointed his Kalishnikov at them and aimed at their head. Penn Fact:
Penn President Amy Gutmann is one of 16 U.S. higher-education leaders named to the National Security Higher Education Board, a group charged with strengthening relations between higher-education institutions and the FBI.
http://www.upenn.edu/about/trusteesadmin.php See press release below:
Gutman has not apologised - she defended Saadi's right to wear the costume (?) and added insult to injury by defending his right to wear it stating that:
For the mock execution photos and others which were taken off Saadi's site go to:
DITZY IVY PREXY'S H'WEEN BALL BOMBS
By DAVID ANDREATTA
November 4, 2006 -- The president of an Ivy League school found herself in hot water yesterday after a snapshot surfaced showing her posing gleefully with a student masquerading as a suicide bomber.
The University of Pennsylvania's Amy Gutmann said in a lengthy statement that she noticed the toy machine gun held by engineering student Saad Saadi - and not the red phony dynamite strapped to his body - only when she mugged for the camera by his side.
She characterized the controversial photo as one taken on whim amid the commotion of an annual Halloween bash that drew more than 700 students in costume to her campus home. Gutmann dressed as Glinda the Good Witch from "The Wizard of Oz."
"They all crowd around to have their picture taken with me in costume," Gutmann said. "This year, one student who had a toy gun in his hand had his picture taken with me before it was obvious to me that he was dressed as a suicide bomber."
She later added, "The costume is clearly offensive and I was offended by it. As soon as I realized what his costume was, I refused to take any more pictures with him, as he requested."
Gutmann was not the only university official to pose with Saadi. The university's chaplain, William Gipson, was also photographed with him.
Saadi did not return a message left for him at the campus lab where he works. But he told the student-run newspaper that Gutmann got a kick out of his getup, which included camouflage pants and a keffiyeh headband - a symbol of Palestinian nationalism.
"How did they let you through security?" the university president jokingly told him at her party, Saadi told The Daily Pennsylvanian.
Saadi posted his photo with Gutmann on his Facebook.com profile in an album that included pictures of him and another friend masquerading as a "freedom fighter" preparing to execute victims as the other recites verses from the Koran.
A posting on Saadi's profile yesterday apologized for the costumes, saying they were meant to "portray scary characters much like many other costumes on Halloween."
"We wish to make it clear that we do not support terrorism, violence or anything that is against society," the posting said. "There is no agenda or statement associated with our behavior shown in these pictures."
The photos showed up on watchdog Web sites democracy-project.com and ivygateblog.com, drawing the attention of the campus media as well as irate alumni, students and parents of prospective students.
"How much more offensive can you get before someone in the administration will disown glorifying homicide bombers?" one person identified as "Philly Alum" wrote on The Daily Pennsylvanian blog, which received scores of responses to the story.
Some called for Gutmann's resignation.
One post said, "What a despicable picture! Gutmann should apologize, and the trustees should start looking for a new president."
Someone claiming to be the father of a prospective student wrote the newspaper that "the University of Pennsylvania is now off the list. The leadership's lack of moral clarity . . . is telling."
But for all the outrage, there was also indifference.
"Over a Halloween costume? Are you kidding me? Is there nothing more important going on at Penn?" wrote one person.
Another wrote simply: "Mountain. Molehill."
The university's Hillel organization released a statement saying student leaders met with an aide to Gutmann and the chaplain and that the group is "satisfied" that the officials understand why the pictures were offensive to many on campus.
U.S. University president poses with 'suicide bomber'
The president of one of the leading universities in the United States last week posed for photographs with a student dressed as a suicide bomber, The Jerusalem Post has learned.
In copies of photos obtained by the Post, University of Pennsylvania president Dr. Amy Gutmann is seen standing with engineering student Saad Saadi at the annual Halloween costume party held at the president's home.
Saadi is seen with a keffiyeh around his head, a toy Kalashnikov rifle in hand and six plastic sticks of dynamite strapped to his chest. Gutmann beams alongside him, dressed as Glinda, the Good Witch of the North, a character from L. Frank Baum's novel The Wizard of Oz.
Gutmann, who is herself Jewish, was inaugurated as university president in 2004. Her father, Kurt, fled Nazi Germany with his family in 1934.
In other photos taken at Gutmann's party that evening, Saadi can be seen carrying out a series of mock hostage executions, evoking images reminiscent of the series of abductions and murders of Westerners in Iraq in 2004.
In one instance, Saadi stands over a fellow student crouched on the ground, and points a gun at her head while reciting verses from the Koran.
In another image, Saadi poses with an unidentified child as he points Saadi's toy gun at the camera.
The day after the party, Saadi was quoted in the Daily Pennsylvanian, the campus newspaper, as saying that he attended Gutmann's affair dressed as a "freedom martyr."
Founded in 1751 by Benjamin Franklin, the University of Pennsylvania is based in Philadelphia and has over 23,000 students, including a large percentage of Jews. It consistently ranks among the top 10 schools of higher education in the country, and is a member of the prestigious Ivy League.
MIM: The Google listing for Saadi's photos and the apology does not come up on the regular link. When you go into cache the apology appears next to the photo of the execution, and appears to be joke, as does the apology which reads"we strive for all suicides to instill healthy and non violent values."
Which means according to Saadi (who has spent time in Syria) that there are 'violent values' too, the ones that 'freedom fighter' /suicide bombers he came dressed dressed as blow themselve up for.
Facebook | Saad Saadi's Photos
Saad Saadi's Photos. UPenn. 9 Photo Albums. 1 · 2 · Next · Halloween 2006. 59 Photos. My friend, Jason, and I express our condolences and sympathy to all ...
59 Photos My friend, Jason, and I express our condolences and sympathy to all affected by our costumes. We wish to make it clear that we do not support terrorism, violence, or anything that is against society. There is no agenda or statement associated with our behavior shown in these pictures. The costumes are meant to portray scary characters much like many other costumes on Halloween. Additionally, we strive for all societies to instill healthy and non-violent values. Location: University of Pennsylvania Updated Today
Created October 29 View Album
Posted on Sat, Nov. 04, 2006
His party outfit was all the rage
IT WAS the Halloween costume heard 'round the world, or at least the World Wide Web.
When Saad Saadi ventured out into the West Philadelphia night last Tuesday, he could have been dressed up as just about anyone - a pirate, a president, even a friendly clown.
But Saadi, a senior engineering student at the University of Pennsylvania, decided to attend school president Amy Gutmann's holiday bash dressed as a suicide bomber - complete with a toy gun, prayer book and phony explosives taped to his chest.
Saadi, who is of Syrian descent, even posed for a picture with Penn's president. Gutmann, decked out in a tiara as Glinda the Good Witch, smiled as she stood next to a straight-face Saadi.
The photo started out as a quirky item on facebook.com - until conservative bloggers got a hold of it and moved it with viral speed.
Additional photos soon surfaced showing Saadi performing mock executions, prompting a firestorm of negative backlash that led to both Gutmann and Saadi expressing regret over the images.
In a statement on Penn's Web site, Gutmann said more than 700 students attend the annual Halloween party that she hosts, and many students ask her to pose for pictures.
"This year, one student who had a toy gun in hand had his picture taken with me before it was obvious to me that he was dressed as a suicide bomber. He posted the photo on a Web site and it was picked up on several other Web sites," Gutmann said in her statement.
"The costume is clearly offensive and I was offended by it," Gutmann said. "As soon as I realized what his costume was, I refused to take any more pictures with him, as he requested. The student had the right to wear the costume just as I, and others, have a right to criticize his wearing of it."
Saadi struck a similarly remorseful note on his Web site, expressing sympathy to anyone who was offended by his terrorist garb.
He insisted that his costume was merely meant to provide a few chills - like any other Halloween ghost or ghoul get-up.
"We wish to make it clear that we do not support terrorism, violence, or anything that is against society," he said in a statement.
Saadi's Web site features numerous videos of him and several friends trying their best to maim one another.
One video features Saadi knocking another man unconscious with a shovel. In another video, two friends pelt each other with rocks. Yet in his statement, Saadi said: "Additionally, we strive for all societies to instill healthy non-violent values."
The contrite words did little to quell the controversy that is still raging on the Ivy League campus.
Parents of prospective students slammed the school on the student newspaper's Web site, while professors, alumni and current students argued over the seriousness of the incident. On and off campus, a war of words raged.
"Images of suicide bombers evoke feelings of fear, terror and horror," said Barry Morrison, regional director for the Anti-Defamation League. "We can't see how anybody could gain any type of entertainment value or anything from such a symbol.
"Suicide bombers should evoke negative messages and those messages should be met with anger, revulsion and disgust," Morrison added.
Saadi's costume choice was also panned by Penn Hillel, an organization that represents the school's Jewish community.
"We consider this attempt at humor totally inappropriate," the group said in a statement on its Web site. "The intended joke is not only offensive to Jewish students, but to all humanity."
Some students shrugged at the controversial pictures, wondering what the big fuss was over a costume.
"I don't really think that he meant any harm by his costume," said Amanda Graham, an international-relations major at Penn. "Kids here are a little kooky and a little crazy and they come up with a lot of crazy costumes for Halloween."
Yet Graham also said that she agreed with some critics who said it might not have been Gutmann's finest moment since becoming the school's president two years ago.
"We can accept Gutmann's apology at face value because we in no way think that she might want to aggrandize suicide bombers," Morrison said. "However, in the student's case, the behavior is so outrageous and the explanation falls very short."
FBI Appoints National Security Higher Education Advisory Board
Washington, D.C. -- FBI Director Robert S. Mueller III today announced the creation of a National Security Higher Education Advisory Board. The board, which will consist of the presidents and chancellors of several prominent U.S. universities, is designed to foster outreach and to promote understanding between higher education and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. The Board will provide advice on the culture of higher education, including the traditions of openness, academic freedom, and international collaboration. The Board will seek to establish lines of communication on national priorities pertaining to terrorism, counterintelligence, and homeland security. They will also assist in the development of research, degree programs, course work, internships, opportunities for graduates, and consulting opportunities for faculty relating to national security. Graham Spanier, President of Pennsylvania State University, will chair the Board. Spanier affirmed, "Higher education is one of our nation's greatest assets and it is critical that those entrusted with our national security better understand the valuable contributions our universities make to research discoveries, education of young adults, international collaboration, faculty and student exchanges, and the development of intellectual property."
The FBI is grateful that these distinguished educators and national leaders are willing to advise on how we can work together with higher education in order to fulfill our increasingly challenging missions. Director Mueller said "As we do our work, we wish to be sensitive to university concerns about international students, visas, technology export policy, and the special culture of colleges and universities. We also want to foster exchanges between academia and the FBI in order to develop curricula which will aid in attracting the best and brightest students to careers in the law enforcement and intelligence communities. " Spanier acknowledged, "We are mindful that higher education can play an increasingly prominent role in national priorities through our research, advanced degree programs, and educational outreach."
The Board will meet collectively at least three times a year in Washington, D.C., while individual presidents will often be invited to meetings of relevant working groups in the regions of their universities.
The Board will begin meeting this fall.
Other members of the Board include: William Brody, President, Johns Hopkins University
For the FBI
This item is available on the Militant Islam Monitor website, at http://www.militantislammonitor.org/article/id/2510