CAMPUS TALK: Sitting with Islamic scholars and students yesterday at a university in Peshawar, Pakistan, Phil Smucker found himself considering their ideas of "jihad," or holy war, from the viewpoint of an American. They explained to him how it would be a great crime if the US were to "kill innocents" if it attacks Afghanistan. Several professors explained that this would be cause for a jihad against the Americans (page 1).
One Islamic group in the US estimates that as many as 800 muslims died in the attack on the World Trade Center. So, Phil asked them: "If, hypothetically, the US had been an Islamic state and its 'innocents' had been killed at the WTC and Pentagon, would the US then have the right to prosecute a 'jihad' of its own?"
There were some tense moments in the discussion that followed, but it ended amicably. They told Phil that what was most needed was solid, irrefutable evidence of Osama bin Laden's crimes, a handover by the Taliban, and then a trial with American prosecutors.
KEEPING A LOW PROFILE: The Monitor's Scott Peterson says that American diplomats are keeping a very low profile in Sana, the capital of Yemen. Part of the reason is that kidnapping by local tribes - even in the capital - is a regular occurrence. More than 100 have taken place since 1991; a German diplomat held since July was release yesterday.
But there is another reason, too, Scott found. Returning to his hotel room late one night, he found a letter from the US Embassy had been slipped under his door. It was a State Department travel advisory that has been hardened since the US terror attacks. The Embassy has suspended public services, requested that Americans keep a "high level of vigilance," and noted "elevated security concerns for Americans in Yemen that were already high."
TWELVE YEARS LATER: Former Polish President and Solidarity leader Lech Walesa casts his vote in Gdansk. Solidarity, which overthrew Communism in Poland in 1989, failed to win a seat in parliament in elections Sunday.
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