Through its study abroad programs, international student population, and sizable list of famous graduates Lincoln has maintained a global presence throughout its 156 year history.
Now the university is faced with adding an unintentional chapter to its history. Following a national debacle onset by associate professor Kaukab Siddique's comments against the state of Israel, Lincoln has become active in discussing the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Lincoln's re-emergence into international politics began with inflammatory statements made by Siddique. Declaring that Israel and the "hydra-headed monster which calls itself Zionism" should be destroyed, Siddique brought unwanted attention and national scrutiny to Lincoln.
"Most people at Lincoln don't know about Zionism," Siddique said. "If they don't know something they won't question it."
Though a topic rarely discussed openly at Lincoln, some students have taken a strong interest in Middle Eastern politics and history. Some outspoken Lincoln students express themselves despite the explosive nature of the debate or their own unconventional view points.
One such outspoken student is senior Curtis Reed. An aspiring law student and member of Lincoln's Forensics Society, Reed is openly critical of Israel. Reed, who claims to read the bible as a historical record rather than a religious book, says that Israel is wrong.
"They hid their imperialism through the mask of divine prophecy," Reed said. "The state of Israel is wrong just looking at it from a common sense stand point."
According to Reed, the land dispute over Israel and Palestine is invalid because neither group is the original people that populated it. Reed believes that Israel uses the stories in the Old Testament to justify its presence in the Middle East and claim ownership to the land based on religious rights. According to Reed, the existence of the state of Israel is the fault of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) following World War II.
At a forum entitled "God, Allah, Yahweh, Which One?" Lincoln students came together to discuss their beliefs and their views of other religions. Baptist, Catholic, Jewish, and Islamic points of view were represented by student panelists who practiced each faith.
Some Lincoln University faculty are pleased that Lincoln students are taking on controversial topics readily and openly. Despite the fact that the subject of Israel has negatively affected the careers of some faculty, students are encouraged to pursue knowledge on all topics even those that are controversial.
"It's great to see people who are believers applying scholarship to their beliefs," Daryl "Zizwe" Poe, associate professor of the history and political science department said.