Mr. Hashemi probably won't be attending Ms. Joya's lecture tonight. He has dodged reporters for three weeks, ever since his presence at Yale was revealed in a cover story in the New York Times Magazine. Some claim he has fully repented his Taliban past, but in his sole recent interview--with the Times of London--he acknowledged he'd done poorly in his class "Terrorism: Past, Present and Future," attributing that to his disgust with the textbooks: "They would say the Taliban were the same as al Qaeda." At the same time, Mr. Hashemi won't explain an essay he wrote late last year in which he called Israel "an American al Qaeda" aimed at the Arab world. When asked about the Taliban's public executions in Kabul's soccer stadium, he quipped: "There were also executions happening in Texas."
Given his record as a Taliban apologist, Mr. Hashemi has told friends he is stunned Yale didn't look more closely into his curriculum vitae. "I could have ended up in Guantanamo Bay," he told the New York Times. So how did he end up in the Ivy League? Questions start at the State Department's door. Sen. John Cornyn of Texas, chairman of the Judiciary Committee's border security panel, has asked the State Department and Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff to explain exactly how Mr. Hashemi got an F-1 student visa. Yale's decision tree is clearer. Richard Shaw, Yale's dean of undergraduate admissions until he took the same post at Stanford last year, told the New York Times that Yale had another foreigner of Mr. Hashemi's caliber apply but "we lost him to Harvard" and "I didn't want that to happen again." Mr. Shaw won't return phone calls now, but emails he's exchanged with others offer insights into his thinking.
The day after the New York Times profile appeared, Haym Benaroya, a professor at Rutgers, wrote to Mr. Shaw expressing disbelief that Mr. Hashemi, who has a fourth-grade education and a high school equivalency certificate, could be at Yale. Mr. Shaw replied that he indeed had "non-traditional roots [and] very little formal education but personal accomplishments that had significant impact." Mr. Benaroya was stupefied; did Mr. Shaw mean accomplishments that had a "positive impact, not terroristic and totalitarian impact"? Mr. Shaw responded: "Correct, and potential to make a positive difference in seeking ways towards peace and democracy. An education is a way toward understanding the complex nuances of world politics."
Thursday, March 23, 2006
John Fund isn't dropping the ball: