To the Editor:
The article on Rahmatullah Hashemi’s possible application for admission as a degree student raised serious concerns (“University faces continued pressure on Hashemi,” 4/3).
At the time Hashemi was a spokesman for the Taliban, it engaged in politically and religiously motivated torture and execution. It hosted Osama bin Laden and the al Qaida leadership, as well as their training camps. When Hashemi arrived at Yale in 2001, al Qaida was preparing the Sept. 11 attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. Those attacks killed nearly 3,000 people.
Since then, the U.S. and other countries have been engaged in military operations in Afghanistan. More than 200 American service members have been killed in operations in and around there. Though removed from power, the Taliban continues to exist as a military force in the south of the country and is engaged there in operations against American forces. Given this, Hashemi should not be considered for admission unless he publicly disavows the actions of the Taliban regime and his role in it. The University owes it to those who lost loved ones in the attacks on Sept. 11 and in military operations in Afghanistan to make it clear that any application for further study will not be considered until he does that.
April 4, 2006
The writer is the director of undergraduate studies for the political science department.