Story at a glance

  • A Washington University student was caught on camera removing thousands of American flags set up as a 9/11 memorial.
  • Student Union Vice President of Finance Fadel Alkilani said in a statement provided to the university’s campus newspaper he planned to relocate the plastic bags he filled with the memorial’s American flags.
  • The university has condemned Alkilani’s action but has not said whether he would face discipline.

A Washington University student was caught on camera removing thousands of American flags set up by the campus College Republicans as a 9/11 memorial.

Student Union Vice President of Finance Fadel Alkilani said in a statement provided to the university’s campus newspaper that he planned to relocate the plastic bags he filled with the memorial’s American flags on Mudd Field with writings describing the "human cost of 9/11 in the past 20 years." 

A sophomore at the university saw Alkilani with the bags on the site of the memorial, after a Republican group put up one for each of the 2,977 victims of the terrorist attacks Friday evening, according to the campus newspaper Student Life. 


The university condemned Alkilani’s action, but has not said whether he would face discipline. 

"We were disappointed to learn about the disruption to the 9/11 display on Mudd Field," Vice Chancellor for Marketing and Communications Julie Flory wrote in a  statement to Student Life. "We condemn the interference with the expression of support by the College Republicans for the victims of the national tragedy that took place 20 years ago today."


READ MORE STORIES FROM CHANGING AMERICA

UN CALLS FOR US, OTHERS TO END 'IMPUNITY' FOR POLICE VIOLENCE AGAINST BLACK PEOPLE

RACIAL CONTROVERSY ERUPTS AROUND ROYALS AT BUCKINGHAM PALACE

PRINCIPAL ESCORTED OUT OF HIGH SCHOOL GRADUATION AFTER DELIVERING FIERY SPEECH

NY TIMES ESTIMATES WEALTHY AMERICANS ARE REFUSING TO PAY $1.4T IN UNCOLLECTED TAXES

THE SUPREME COURT COULD DEAL A MAJOR BLOW TO MINORITY VOTERS


Alkilani elaborated in his statement that the full intent of his protest was not evident on video, as the full statements he had written on the bags were not adequately captured. 

"Since 9/11, Islamophobic hate crimes have been higher than they ever were before," he wrote, adding that "over 900,000 people have been killed because of the wars the United States has propagated."

"Any memorial of 9/11 that does not contend with these facts is not only incomplete, but it also amplifies pro-imperialist sentiment and actively disrespects those who have died because of American Invasion," Alkilani wrote. 


America is changing faster than ever! Add Changing America to your Facebook or Twitter feed to stay on top of the news.


College Republicans President junior Nick Rodriguez condemned Alkilani’s demonstration in an email provided to the campus newspaper, saying Alkilani had "made a mockery of one of the most somber days in American history."

"Today is about remembering the tragedy, 20 years ago to the day, not to make a political statement. Any reason he can conjure to remove the flags I find ludicrous," Rodrigues concluded. 


READ MORE STORIES FROM CHANGING AMERICA


NEW YORK TO FORGIVE $125 MILLION IN STUDENT LOAN DEBT

PRESSURE MOUNTS ON BIDEN TO CANCEL $50K IN STUDENT LOAN DEBT

TV STARS CHIP AND JOANNA GAINES DONATE TO CAMPAIGN AGAINST CRITICAL RACE THEORY IN SCHOOLS

BIDEN STILL CONSIDERING CANCELLATION OF AS MUCH AS $50K PER PERSON IN STUDENT DEBT

US SECRETARY OF EDUCATION CANCELS $1B OF STUDENT LOAN DEBT

Published on Sep 13, 2021