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The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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A&M students divided on Bush’s war decision

On the heels of the U.S. military campaign against Iraq Wednesday night, the Bryan-College Station Islamic community and Muslim students at Texas A&M expressed their opposition to the war.
In a statement released Wednesday night, some member of the the Bryan-College Station Islamic community said, “We reiterate our position, and that of the great majority of religious leaders and the international community, that this war is not justified and is not in the interest of the United States, world peace and security, and the rule of law.”
The Islamic community also voiced its concern about the fallout of the war, “especially the loss of human life on all sides, the destruction of the infrastructure of Iraq, and chaos and instability that may follow.”
Faisal Chaudhry, adviser for the Muslim Students’ Association, said that while the war may result in a decisive victory for the United States, a long-term concern may be that Muslims in the Middle East “will see (the war) as a clash between Christianity and Islam which will have far-reaching consequences.”
Chaudhry said Muslims also fear terrorist retaliation against the United States and crippled relations between the United States and the Middle East.
Mohammad Munawar, president of the MSA and a sophomore industrial engineering major, said he hopes the United States’ claim that it is fighting a war on terrorism and not on Islam is true.
Chaudhry said discrimination by Americans is a concern for the Muslim students at A&M.
“Being a minority group, there is a concern among Muslim and Arab students that the consequences of this action will leave them open to possibly harassment or discrimination,” Chaudhry said.
Muslim students have been advised to carry on with normal daily activities, but are advised to be cautious, Chaudhry said.
Chaudhry said the Muslim community encourages one another to continue sharing ideas and building bridges with other segments of the local community, and not to allow people to become divided.
A&M President Robert M. Gates released a statement Wednesday urging continued tolerance and respect for the international students, faculty and staff at the University University.
The Memorial Student Center MSC F(f)flagroom Wednesday night was quiet and seemed far removed from the reality of war. Students studying there expressed mixed feelings about the military action, but were generally supportive of President George W. Bush.
“I trust Bush and his cabinet if they believe now is the time to start the war,” said Evan Carthy, a junior sports management major. “I think the war is justified. Saddam had to disarm, but the evidence shows he’s still got those weapons hidden away.”
John Wagner, a junior philosophy major, said he hopes the war will reduce the threat of Saddam’s weapons being used against the United States, but is still troubled by the policy of pre-emption and the possible killing of innocent Iraqis.
“I have some moral dilemmas with attacking before we’re attacked,” Wagner said.

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