In their article about Fulbright Professor Mustafa Abu Sway, Daniel Pipes and Asaf Romirowsky make charges against Florida Atlantic University that are entirely untrue ["Hamas in Florida Classroom," January 27, 2004]. They state that "Florida Atlantic University ignored the disclosure [about their allegation that he has ties to Hamas]" and that their "little scoop met with yawns or with disbelief."
Quite to the contrary,Florida Atlantic University took prompt action when this very serious charge was first made by Mr. Pipes and Mr. Romirowsky against a visiting faculty member.
The university contacted both the State Department and the Fulbright Program immediately, asking that they look into this matter without delay, bearing in mind that both entities carry out rigorous background and security checks before approving an individual for entry into America. University officials also spoke directly with Dr. Abu Sway about the allegations that were being made against him, and he categorically denied them.
Last week, prior to the charges being reiterated in the January 27, 2004 issue of The New York Sun, Florida Atlantic University received word of Mr. Pipes's and Mr.Romirowsky's latest allegations; that same day university officials once again sent an urgent request to the State Department and the Fulbright Program to investigate them fully and report their findings back to the university.
Under the rule of law in America and the principles of democracy that must be upheld, all appropriate actions have been taken by Florida Atlantic University. The shrill criticism that is being directed against the university by Mr. Pipes and Mr. Romirowsky serve only to demonstrate their lack of understanding of these fundamentals.
Florida Atlantic University officials have acted with an abundance of caution and due diligence in this matter, as they would with any serious situation affecting FAU's campuses, faculty, staff, and students.
Aileen Izquierdo is the Director of Communications Florida Atlantic University Boca Raton, Fla.