To the editor:

In “Pipes meets with protest at talk” (Yale Daily News 11/7), Saqib Bhatti is quoted as saying, “our intent was to be respectful of his presence but to still voice opposition.” While Bhatti’s group’s “voice” was certainly heard, it was anything but “respectful.” I support any opportunity for debate on campus; Pipes’ lecture, however, was not the appropriate forum. The mocking laughs, tasteless interjections, and most of all, the ten-minute interruption of activists who barged onto the stage, refused to move, and subsequently took their seats in the audience by having others move into the packed aisles was an embarrassing moment for Yale. I came to see Pipes speak and answer his critics in the form of a lively yet intelligent debate. Because of the downright rude intimidation tactics employed by student activists, the talk deteriorated into a shouting match with little intellectual value. Pipes was appalled; so was I.

Keith Urbahn ’06

November 7, 2003