E-mail Appeal from Jihad Daniel to William Paterson University President Arnold Speert, June 23, 2005
June 23, 2005
From: Daniel, Jihad
Sent: Thursday, June 23, 2005 7:41 AM
To: Speert, Arnold
Subject: FW: Freedom of Speech and Expression
President Speert, this is my response based on the best traditions of the Founding Fathers when they conceived this great idea for Liberty and Deomocracy.
From: Daniel, Jihad
Sent: Tuesday, June 21, 2005 7:50 AM
Subject: Freedom of Speech and Expression
Good Morning President Speert and hope all is well. Our greeting is Peace be unto you. I just want to clarify a few things that may shed some additional light on this particular situation. What I am about to say is not directed at you, I know you already know these things, this is just to give some insight and clarity into my thinking as a result primarily of graduate classes I am enrolled in and benefit from.
First, I want you to know this is not my first encounter with John Sims. Because I know you are probably wondering how someone who has been trained in the legal system could take a statement that clearly comes under the First Amendment definition of freedom of Speech and Expression and so badly misinterpret and misconstrue it that they would take a dictionary definition and charged me with it. How and what Court of Law would you charge someone with a dictionary definition? I used my Constitutional First Amendment right of Freedom Expression to make a statement about a situation and clarified why I felt that way i.e., "It conflicted with my Religious Beliefs". That was it! I Put my idea in the market place of ideas along with many others. Universities and institutions of higher learning are known for their tolerance and openess to all ideas, hence "The market place of ideas".
People disagree with my ideas and I never by any stretch of the imagination said "Oh! they dont agree with me so they must be a threat". That is insanity. People have their own opinions. That is why we live in a democracy so we can express what we think and which ideas prevail, like in a Presidential election, two opposing forces or ideas, one prevails, but then they all close ranks and work for the good of the whole. Plato, Socrates and Aristotle are known for their dialectical exchanges. In fact they loved the philosical aspects of thought and reason so much they didn't consider anything out of the realm of at least examing.
A few years ago I had a problem with some people who I reported them to their department head. It was suggested that I take the matter to John Sims. After a few exploratory conversations and emails with John Sims, I declined the offer of submitting it to his department because all I wanted was a resolution to a situation.
I resolved the situation myself. I mediated the situation to where the behavior of these individuals ceased. That was all I wanted. Some people never forgot this. Now you can see how through some convoluted mental gymnastics, we come to my saying to this individual “Do not send me anymore literature” was misconstrued as a threat.
President Speert, this great nation was founded on dissent and disagreement. The Founding Fathers and the original colonists were trying and were determined to escape the tyranny of the Church and State in England. They came to America to get away from oppression and the repression of their thoughts and ideas.
In the summer of 1787 when 12 of the 13 states came together to revise the system of government under the Articles of Confederation, the people demanded that the new Constitution or form of government be prefaced with a Bill of Rights of the citizens of a democracy. The First Amendment adopted in 1791 said that “Congress shall make no law … abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press or the right of the people to peaceably assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”
James Madison working on behalf of the citizens of this newly formed democracy said in the House of Representatives on June 8, 1789, “The people shall not be deprived or abridged of their right to speak, to write, or to publish their sentiments … “. (Pember, DR, 2003-2004, Pg. 38). Xinyi Wang (2001) says “The most accepted justification for freedom of speech has been the theory of the market place of ideas … “. (Pg. 1).
“Public debates on societal issues led to a diversity of ideas and opinions. Out of this emerged the freedom of ideas which was later termed “the market place of ideas”. In this “market place” public debates could now thrive on societal issues”. (Daniel, J. 2003, Pg. 3).
So to get to the point President Speert and I appreciate you taking the time to read this, I believed and still believe in what the Founding Fathers said that we can disagree without being disagreeable. That we agree and disagree on issues every day, but people do not determine that this is threatening to them or being hostile. That is ludicrous. The only way that that could be determined by someone who heads a department or agency is if they had some other motives as i alluded to earlier.
I hope with this clarification that this reprimand will be expunged from my record. I have been here fourteen or fifteen years. No one!, I repeat, No one!!, Can say that they ever felt or experienced any threatening or hostile behavior, mentally or physically from Jihad Daniel. As matter of fact most people are shocked by this charge against me.
Thank you for your time and have a nice day.