Niqabs or Burqas Banned at the Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences

by Daniel Pipes
December 8, 2009

updated Dec 11, 2009

The Griffin Academic Center, MCPHS’s newest building.

Tarek Mehanna, 27, was arrested on Oct. 21, 2009, in Sudbury, Massachusetts and charged with conspiring to provide material support to terrorists. He allegedly planned to launch terrorist attacks both inside and outside the United States, specifically planning to attack a shopping mall with automatic weapons. Mehanna was a graduate of the Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences (MCPHS), where his father Ahmed teaches chemistry.

Today, the dean of students at MCPHS issued a directive to students that “any head covering that obscures a student’s face may not be worn, either on campus or at clinical sites, except when required for medical reasons.” (The full memorandum follows below.)

Comment: Banning niqabs and burqas is an excellent security measure and one that all educational and other institutions should follow. Indeed, every “head covering that obscures” every face should be banned in every public space. For dozens of reasons why, see my weblog entry, “Niqabs and Burqas as Security Threats.” (December 8, 2009)

From: Jean M. Joyce-Brady
Date: Tue, Dec 8, 2009 at 3:23 PM
Subject: Revised MCPHS Identification Policy – Beginning January 1, 2010
To: All Students
Cc: All Faculty, All Staff

Dear MCPHS Students,

As of January 1, 2010, the MCPHS Identification Policy will be revised as stated below. Language in blue font indicates changes in the policy. Human Resources (HR) will be communicating with faculty and staff shortly regarding a similar change to the HR employee identification policy. Thank you for your attention to this policy change.


Dean Joyce-Brady


For reasons of safety and security, all students must be readily identifiable while they are on campus and/or engaged in required off-campus activities, including internships and clinical rotations. Therefore, any head covering that obscures a student’s face may not be worn, either on campus or at clinical sites, except when required for medical reasons. In addition, all students are required to wear their College-issued ID at all times when on campus and/or engaged in required off-campus activities, and to show such upon request of a properly identified official or member of the MCPHS staff. Loss of an ID Card should be reported immediately to the MCPHS Department of Public Safety. The fee to replace an I.D. card–for any reason– is $10; application and payment for replacement is made at the Office of the Registrar. The I.D. card also serves as the College library card.

Jean M. Joyce-Brady, Ph.D.
Dean of Students
Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences

Middle East Studies – A Dangerous Profession

by Daniel Pipes
December 5, 2009

Richard T. Antoun, professor emeritus of anthropology at Binghamton University.

Richard T. Antoun, 77, a professor emeritus of anthropology at Binghamton University, was murdered in his office yesterday, stabbed four times with a 6-inch kitchen knife. This atrocity recalls that, in addition to the figurative brickbats that go with the subject, Middle East studies has a lethal edge.

Abdulsalam S. Al-Zahrani, a 46-year-old Saudi student working on a doctoral thesis in cultural anthropology, “Sacred Voice, Profane Sight: The Senses, Cosmology, and Epistemology in Early Arabic Culture,” was charged with second-degree murder. Antoun sat on Zahrani’s dissertation committee and the two knew each other. His motives are not yet surmised: the district attorney in Broome County, where the murder took place, asserted that there was “no indication of religious or ethnic motivation” in the killing. Roommates of the accused describe him as obsessed with death and of behaving “like a terrorist”.

This is not the first murder of an American specialist on the Middle East:

  • The most parallel murder, of a professor by a Muslim student, was that of Ismail al Faruqi and his wife in 1986 by a convert named Yusuf Ali.
  • There was an attempt by Armenian nationalists to kill Stanford Shaw, then 47, of UCLA in 1977 by placing a bomb at his house.
  • An earlier ex-president of the Middle East Studies Association was likewise murdered in his office by angry Arabs, that being Malcolm Kerr, 52, then president of the American University of Beirut who was shot and killed in 1984.
Abdulsalam S. Al-Zahrani, accused of stabbing Richard T. Antoun to death.

Turned around, a number of Middle East specialists have been implicated in terrorism, a subject I covered in 2003 at “Terrorist Profs” and “More Praise for ‘Terrorist Profs’: Mohamed Yousry.” Also, there is at least one case of a Middle East specialist being convicted of murder, that being Mine Ener, 38, of Villanova University who took the life in 2003 of her five-month-old baby daughter with Down Syndrome, then a few weeks later committed suicide while in jail. (December 5, 2009)

My Words Mangled by Leftists and Islamists – A Bibliography

by Daniel Pipes
November 30, 2009

What is it about Leftists and Islamists that they cannot read straight? Is it the influence of post-modernism or plain old shoddy habits? In any case, I – like so many conservatives – find myself consistently having my words or my intent distorted and having to correct the record.

I have brought together dozens of such instances at a weblog entry titled “Department of Corrections (of Others’ Factual Mistakes about Me).” In addition, I wrote up some of the particularly colorful and demonstrably distorted cases in a listing that will be updated as needed (and needed, sadly, it will be needed):

Comment: There is no parallel here. I know of no Leftist or Islamist who has or could compile such a listing of egregious mistakes.

(November 30, 2009)