The Baltimore Sun

Goucher isn't judging scholar from Rwanda

It is outrageous and obscene for Alexander E. Hooke to compare the circumstances of Leopold Munyakazi to those of prisoners held at Guantanamo Bay ("Goucher unfair to accused professor," Viewpoint, Feb. 17). Allow me to set the record straight.

When presented with eyewitness accounts claiming that Mr. Munyakazi, a visiting professor at Goucher, had been an active participant in the 1994 Rwandan genocide, we at Goucher College needed to consider the effect these accusations could have on our entire community.

When we suspended him from his teaching duties, we did not make the decision lightly or as some sort of punishment. The decision was made to keep our students from being disrupted in their studies and away from public scrutiny, particularly if the case began to receive more media attention.

Mr. Munyakazi and his family continue to reside in Goucher College housing, which is paid for by the Scholar Rescue Fund, the organization sponsoring him. We will provide that housing for as long as necessary.

To compare this situation with the torture and denial of rights that have occurred at Guantanamo Bay is ludicrous and offensive.

Like everyone on American soil, Mr. Munyakazi has the right to fair legal representation, and the Scholar Rescue Fund is working hard to see that he gets it - as well it should.

It is not the role of Goucher College to mete out justice or to determine the guilt or innocence of Mr. Munyakazi or anyone else.

As an institution of higher education, Goucher will continue to champion the ideals of truth and fairness, complicated though this effort may be at times.

In fact, our students can learn an important lesson from this "viewpoint" essay published in The Baltimore Sun; it speaks volumes about the critical need to collect as much information as possible before jumping to conclusions or making rash statements.

Sanford J. Ungar, Towson

The writer is the president of Goucher College.

Carroll County studies all waste alternatives

As a former editorial writer and columnist for daily newspapers, I know the pressures of deadlines and the consequences of getting it wrong. And The Baltimore Sun got it wrong big-time in its editorial "Save valuable trash" (Feb. 17), which seemed to be predicated on the assumption that Frederick and Carroll counties are exploring the viability of a waste-to-energy operation - some call it an incinerator - without first looking to recycle aluminum, metals and other recoverable materials.

Wrong, and wrong again. What we have been discussing for many months is what to do with what is left after all practicable measures have been taken to use current technology and markets to recycle that which is recyclable.

That debate has included and continues to examine the relative environmental consequences of landfills vs. waste-to-energy projects, emerging technologies - all the alternatives.

We are not finished with this examination.

Dean Minnich, Westminster

The writer is vice president of the Carroll County Board of Commissioners.

Israel's aggression is real impediment

The writer of the letter "Terrorists block the path to peace" (Feb. 16) protests the editorial "Israeli duel" (Feb. 12) and suggests that terrorists, not Israeli actions, are blocking the path to peace.

In his opinion, apparently, the killing and wounding of more than 1,000 Palestinians, including many women and children, during three weeks of bombings of Gaza is less significant than the death by rocket fire of five Israeli settlers in the past four years.

Israel's so-called interest in peace over the years has always been a cover for its illegal occupation of Palestinian lands, its aggressive acts of expansion and its other actions that create obstacles to a just solution in Palestine.

Najad Tuffaha, Columbia

Only Israel welcomed refugees from Sudan

The photo of the three Sudanese refugee couples waiting for their wedding ceremonies in Israel ("24 hours in pictures," Feb. 17) shows the true generosity of the Jewish state.

No other Middle Eastern country gave these people refugee status.

Those accusing Israel of being racist should recognize their hypocrisy.

Madalyn Frydman, Baltimore

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