Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Penn President Poses With "Suicide Bomber"

University of Pennsylvania engineering student Saad Saadi seems to have quite the personality. This year he seemed to have gotten carried away with his choice of a Halloween costume, dressing up as a suicide bomber and all. Some folks were understandably offended given that Islamo-suicide bombers are busy murdering innocent women and children, not to mention killing our troops in Iraq. It's kind of like a young student showing up at a party in an SS uniform in 1943. But, we all know that young men can engage in tasteless behavior and bad judgment from time to time and I certainly wouldn’t want everything that I did as a youngster splashed all over the New York Times. Saadi offered up the following apology: “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.” Fair enough.

What is far less forgivable is the bad judgment displayed by University of Pennsylvania President Amy Gutmann who was seen smiling and posing for a picture with Saadi as if the costume of an Islamo-suicide bomber is kind of like dressing up as Peter Pan. Only an out of touch academic moonbat would have failed to see embarrassment here.

UPDATE: At noon, Penn's president issued this statement:

Each year, the president hosts a Halloween party for Penn students. More than 700 students attend. They all crowd around to have their picture taken with me in costume. 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 website and it was picked up on several other websites.

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. The student had the right to wear the costume just as I, and others, have a right to criticize his wearing of it.

Footnote: Penn President Amy Guttmann is Jewish, the daughter of Holocaust survivors.

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