Phi Beta Cons

Yale President Raps Anti-Terror NYPD

In the following message to the Yale community, university president Richard Levin smugly berated the New York Police Department for monitoring the activities of Muslim student groups – specifically, publicly available blogs and websites run by Muslim Students Associations – at a number of universities across the northeast, including Yale.

I am writing to state, in the strongest possible terms, that police surveillance based on religion, nationality or peacefully expressed political opinions are antithetical to the values of Yale, the academic community and the United States. . . . I want to make sure our community knows that the Yale Police Department has not participated in any monitoring by the NYPD and was entirely unaware of NYPD activities until the recent news reports.

The haughty Yale leader fails to mention to his colleagues that:

  • A dozen people convicted or arrested or on terrorism charges in the U.S. and elsewhere had once been members of Muslim student organizations.

  • The Herculean efforts of the NYPD and similar law-enforcement groups provide and protect the safe havens that make it possible for universities to freely teach and conduct  research.

  • It would have been entirely in order — indeed, in the interest of the public’s safety — for the Yale Police Department to participate in the monitoring of the NYPD.

  • The Web has served as a potent means for radicalizing some students, and the MSA was originally founded by the Muslim Brotherhood, which the U.S. has classified as a terrorist group.

Shame on President Levin for his imprudent, ungrateful grandstanding against those at the NYPD whose vigilance has kept all of us — including the denizens of our campuses — safe from terrorists who would destroy us. 


Candace de Russy is a nationally recognized expert on education and cultural issues.

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