V.U. issues statement on Muslim speaker's remark

Monday, February 1, 2010 at 11:00pm

Vanderbilt University last night moved to distance itself from the controversy over a statement made by its Muslim chaplain last week at a campus event.

At a forum entitled "Common Ground: Being Muslim in the Military" on Jan. 25, Chaplain Awadh A. Binhazim responded to a question from student Devin Saucier, vice president of the V.U. chapter of conservative group Youth for Western Civilization, by saying he would have to "go with what Islam teaches" regarding the imposition of capital punishment on practicing homosexuals.

Several Islamic countries, including Iran and Saudi Arabia, are known to have put people to death for homosexual activity.

After accounts of the event and YouTube footage of Binhazim's comment led to widespread criticism on both conservative and gay-oriented blogs, the university put out a statement Monday evening noting that the event was part of its "Project Dialogue," a series meant to bring "diverse viewpoints" to campus.

"No view expressed at a Project Dialogue or similar campus forum should be construed as being endorsed by Vanderbilt," the statement said. "The university is dedicated to the free exchange of ideas. It is the belief of the university community that free discussion of ideas can lead to resolution and reconciliation."

The statement went on to reaffirm V.U.'s commitment both to free speech and to non-discrimination.

"There has been some confusion as to Binhazim's role at Vanderbilt," the statement concluded. "He is the Muslim chaplain at Vanderbilt, a volunteer position. He is not a professor of Islam and is not associated with Vanderbilt University Divinity School. He has adjunct associate professor status at Vanderbilt University Medical Center in pathology. This position, which carries no teaching or research responsibilities, is also unpaid."

Binhazim is employed as a professor of pathology at Meharry Medical College.

8 Comments on this post:

By: HighlyAnnoyed on 2/2/10 at 9:34

All religion is evil. There is really no need to make Islam out to be more evil than Christianity. Because it is not. They are both equally evil.

By: TN4th on 2/2/10 at 10:30

Perhaps we should jump all over christian preachers who say they will support what the bible says. If they REALLY believe the bible as they claim, they must support all sorts of abominable murder. For example, the bible calls for stoning to death: people who work on the sabbath (Exodus 35:2) ... sorry Wal-Mart "associates"; rebellious sons who will not obey and is a drunkard (Deuteronomy 21:18, Exodus 21:17) ... sorry George Bush; women who are not virgins on their wedding night (Deuteronomy 22:13-21) ... sorry most of us; wizards and witches (Exodus 22:18, Leviticus 20:27) ... sorry Merlin. Or how about just whacking your child because a sacrifice seems in order. Jepthah did it to thank god for letting him beat up on the Ammonites. Heck, god did it himself to appease his own snit, by having his own son whacked. So in the whole biblical scheme of things, killing gays is just par for the course.

By: paulnashtn on 2/2/10 at 11:04

It seems to be obvious that neither HighlyAnnoyed, TN4th are well versed in Christianity or the Muslim faith.
Christ came to provide a new sprit and direction in the worship of GOD so please quote ANY scripture in the NEW Testament that calls for the murder of anyone. As the chaplain noted, the Muslim faith not only calls for death of various people for their actions, beliefs, and for many affronts to Islam, Sharia law is applied and these murders are carried out in several countries.
Please name one country that has laws and carries out murders in the name of, or because of an affront to, Christianity

By: sidneyames on 2/2/10 at 11:30

TN4th, you don't know your bible or Christian doctrine. The new testament is the "rule book' after Jesus came.

"At a forum entitled "Common Ground: Being Muslim in the Military" on Jan. 25, Chaplain Awadh A. Binhazim responded to a question from student Devin Saucier, vice president of the V.U. chapter of conservative group Youth for Western Civilization, by saying he would have to "go with what Islam teaches" regarding the imposition of capital punishment on practicing homosexuals.

Several Islamic countries, including Iran and Saudi Arabia, are known to have put people to death for homosexual activity."

If a Christian in an Islamic says that they should kill "terrorist" I bet that christian would be executed.

Muslim faith, according to Chaplain Binhaziim would iimpose "capital punishment on practicing homosexuals". That's EVIL.

In America, you see isolated violence against the gay/lesbian community. The perps are tracked down and punished. That's America. We try to protect all people.

By: TN4th on 2/2/10 at 12:49

sidneyames said: "Christ came to provide a new sprit and direction in the worship of GOD so please quote ANY scripture in the NEW Testament that calls for the murder of anyone."

'scuse me, but the new testament is full of vicious stuff.

How about Romans I, which says people who do any of the following (plus other acts or thoughts) are "worthy of death": men leaving the natural use of women and burning in their lust one toward the other ... (oops, that's homosexuality, just the thing the koran was pilloried for); fornication, envy, backbiting, disobedience toward parents, wickedness, etc etc. Not only are you worthy of death if you do these things, but also if you have pleasure in them that do them. YIKES. You are worthy of death if you hang with someone who is a backbiter? We are all dead!

How about 2 Thessalonians, that says jesus will take vengeance on them that know not god, by burning them forever in flames?

How about Hebrews 9, that calls for killing innocent animals in blood sacrifice and says that "almost all things are by the law purged with blood and without shedding of blood there is no remission."

How about Revelation 2 where jesus says that he will "kill (Jezebel's) children with death," because Jezebel didn't stop fornicating. Mind you, the children were innocent.

I could go on, but you get the picture. Maybe you should try reading the horror show yourself. Did you religious training from those fans that got passed out in un-air conditioned churches that had jesus and a bunch of lambs on the front and an ad from a funeral home on the back?

You also said, "In America, you see isolated violence against the gay/lesbian community. The perps are tracked down and punished. That's America. We try to protect all people." Yes, because we are an ethical humanist people, not a theocracy. If we followed either testament of the bible, we would be as bloodthirsty and backward as the fundamentalist muslims. Plus, we'd have to eat locusts instead of lobster. That would be really tragic.

By: TN4th on 2/2/10 at 1:14

I apologize for being snarky with the church fans comment. My point was made with my citations and was not helped by ad hominem sniping.

By: rldavenport@com... on 2/2/10 at 4:18

TN4th:

Hebrews 9 and Rev. 2 do not teach what you say they do. Heb. 9 is comparing Jesus' priesthood to the Old Testament Levitical priesthood and concludes that Jesus' priesthood is far greater because He offered Himself once for all people for all time as opposed to the OT priesthood in which the priests had to make animal sacrifices every day. That is the conclusion of that whole chapter (v. 28).

In Rev. 2, Jesus was writing to one of the churches of Asia (through the apostle John's pen) concerning their sinfulness. He was using Jezebel in a figurative way to emphasize the seriousness of their sins and was talking about spiritual death, not physical death. He was speaking in symbolic language that the Christians of the first century could understand.

Therefore, you need to read the contexts of these two passages and any other passage in the New Testament before you make points that are not true.

By: Anna3 on 2/2/10 at 9:44

Vanderbilt University...the Liberal bastion that it has become is demonstrating its usual courage in the face of the exposure this remark is bringing to its self=constructed PC universe. Is Vanderbilt really going to try to convince us that this "Chaplain" has no influence on the thinking of a portion of its students? Now that they are aware of his message of death...the question is...What will Vanderbilts leadership do about it? We shall see...we shall see. The world is watching...Would you send your child to this institution? Would you put your child in the care of this institution?