The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

SMU professor Susanne Scholz in the West Bank in 2018.
SMU professor to return to campus after being trapped in Gaza for 12 years
Sara Hummadi, Video Editor • May 18, 2024
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Peace forum argues against war with Iraq

Students, faculty and staff gathered in the Hughes-Trigg Commons Thursday in one of the first anti-war demonstrations on campus this year.

The ‘Peace is Patriotic’ forum also marked the first outward display of faculty opinion on the impending military actions in Iraq.

Organized by the SMU Coalition for Peace, the forum featured a panel of three history professors moderated by Director of Medieval Studies Bonnie Wheeler.

Clements Department of History Professor Jim Hopkins spoke first, saying the faculty at SMU had an “intellectual and moral obligation” to “see things as they are” in light of the past, particularly Vietnam, and to pass those observations on to students.

“We do not believe the [U.S.] administration has made a case for war,” he said.

Professor Michael Provence, who teaches Middle Eastern history, said President Bush is ignoring an historical ideology imbedded in the Middle East. He said there is a conflict between power regimes and Islamists throughout the Middle East–and Saddam Hussein happens to be the worst in power, Osama bin Laden the worst of the Islamists. The two are inherent enemies in the Middle East, not allies. By insisting they are the same, the Middle East will come to the conclusion that the United States wants a war not with Iraq, but with the one common denominator the two sides have: an Islamic heritage.

Professor and Advisor to the SMU chapter of Amnesty International Rick Halperin focused on the human rights violations that inevitably come with war, saying “it will be a war of the seen and the unseen.”

“No participant in this struggle will be able to claim a moral ground,” he said.

The forum ended with calls to join in a city-wide march at 1 p.m. Saturday at Our Lady of Guadalupe Church on Ross.

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