The Review welcomes letters from readers and will print as many of
them as space permits. Letters may be edited for brevity and clarity. Unsigned
letters cannot be used, but names of the writers may be withheld on request.
Fundamentals of Islam?
Regarding "Islam and the Middle East: Reflections on Religious Intolerance,"
by Emil Homerin [chair of the Department of Religion and Classics], in the Winter
The author believes that equating "Muslim" with "Arab terrorist"
is a limiting stereotype. He says that Muslim militants are a tiny faction denounced
by most Muslims.
Would that it were true. I have followed the rhetoric since September 11 and
have not seen any denouncement of the Muslim suicide bombers or repudiation
of the murders of women and children by the Muslim terrorists. What I have heard
is feeble defense statements explaining how these heinous acts only go to show
how disturbed the militant faction is that they have no recourse but to kill
Americans and Jews.
The author is just another of the Muslim apologists with statements like, "Militant
Islamic groups, including Hamas, the followers of Osama bin Laden, and the Taliban
draw on despair, while presenting their visions of a triumphal Islam that will
protect their communities from the insidious attacks of the secular and satanic
His final lament is, ". . . if we are going to prevent terrorism in the
future we must seriously address the fundamental issues of world poverty and
prejudice, inequality. . . ."
Why does he not condemn the militant members of this faith who disgraced it
and all of humanity? The terrorists that destroyed the World Trade Center and
their insidious leaders are not victims of poverty or inequality as he stated.
They are evil, rich fascists who are trying to impose their will on the Western
world by sneak attacks and murdering innocent civilians. I am proud that my
country will stop at nothing to destroy them.
Harold J. Taback '53
Homerin responds: Like so many Americans, including me, Mr. Taback is right
to bemoan the feeble response by some Arab and Muslim intellectuals to the tragedy
of September 11. Sadly, such responses are too often the primary focus of the
American news media.
In Rochester, and other American communities with sizeable Muslim populations,
Muslim condemnation of the attacks was swift and unequivocal. Perhaps Mr. Taback
has forgotten that many Muslims, including some of those who died at the World
Trade Center, are, like him, U.S. citizens. I also know for a fact that many
Muslims throughout the world were horrified and sickened by these murders, which
were committed in the name of Islam.
Further, Mr. Taback calls Muslim militants "evil, rich fascists."
This accurately describes Osama bin Laden and a handful of others, but even
a cursory glance at the lives of the vast majority of the followers of Hamas
and Taliban reveals lives of incredible material, psychological, and spiritual
As for Mr. Taback's assertion: "The author is just another of the Muslim
apologists. . . ." Perhaps this was said in anger; if so, I will try not
to respond in kind. My comments appearing on page 5 of Rochester Review were
adapted from a larger essay that may be found at www.rochester.edu/pr/Review/V64N2/homerin.html.
Had Mr. Taback taken the time to read my entire essay he would have discovered
that I am outspoken in my condemnation of religious militants of all kinds.
More important, as I try to teach my students, to understand something is
not the same as supporting it. But if we never understand the root causes of
September 11, we will never move beyond the rhetoric to prevent such tragedies
in the future.
Remembering September 11: Husband of '87 Alumna
We are saddened to report that we have heard from another member of the
University's alumni community who lost a loved one in last September's
terrorist attacks [Winter 2002].
Robert Andrew Spencer, husband of Christine Hamwi Spencer '87,
was killed during the attack on the World Trade Center. A foreign exchange
broker for Cantor Fitzgerald on the 105th floor of the North Tower, Spencer-known
to his family and friends as "Andy" and "Spence"-managed
to leave a last message for his family, phoning to say, "I'm alive,
and I love you."
He leaves behind three children: Addison, 5, Kathryn, 3, and Robert,
who was born August 16, 2001. The family held a joint service in late
September to remember Spencer's life and to christen his month-old son.
"I am proud to say Andy was my best friend," Christine says
of the husband she first met eight years ago at the beach in Bay Head,
New Jersey. "He was the perfect husband to me and an adoring father
to Addie, Katie, and Robert. I realize how lucky I am to have experienced
that kind of love."
The Spencer family has set up a fund for Spencer's three children. A
list of funds for family members of University alumni killed in the attacks
is being maintained on Rochester Review's Web site at www.rochester.edu/pr/Review/
Glick Scholarship Created
An endowed scholarship has been established at the University in memory
of Jeremy Glick '93, one of the passengers aboard United Flight
93 believed to have thwarted a fourth hijacking on September 11.
The scholarship will support Glick's commitment to the value of a fraternity
experience and its rewards. A member of Alpha Delta Phi, Glick served
as chapter president in 1992-93.
Contributions can be made to: Jeremy Glick Memorial Scholarship Fund,
University of Rochester, Gift Office, 30 Wallis Hall, P.O. Box 270032,
Rochester, NY 14627-0032.
Dolan '86 Clarification
In our listing of the six alumni who died in last September's terrorist
attacks [Winter 2002], we failed to note that Brendan Dolan '86 was senior
vice president at Carr Futures, where he oversaw the firm's energy futures
A Decimal Dilemma
Regarding "Growing the Rochester Endowment," [Winter 2002] p. 14,
paragraph 8: "When the University topped $1 billion in 1998, it was one
of only 34 colleges or universities in the seven-figure club."
I have one minor comment: $1 billion = $1,000,000,000 (ten figures). $1 million
= $1,000,000 (seven figures).
Otherwise, I found the article fascinating and enlightening.
John P. Heyneman '85
Williamson, New York
Thanks for the correction (and the refresher course in the base 10 numbering
Frosh Camp Relived
photo on page 25 [Winter 2002] shows my classmates, Class of '52, at Frosh Camp.
I believe that's Sydney McCandless '51 singing out in center front. I see [the
late] Lydia Test [Cook] '52 to the right of the conductor and one of the Ingebretsen
twins-[Anne Ingebretsen Johnston '51 and Hilda Ingebretsen Miller '51]-next
Since we entered in 1948, this photo could be dated any of the four years after
that, but not 1954. It's probably 1950.
That year, my grandfather died while I was at Frosh Camp, and I had to leave
unexpectedly, getting to a train station by bus so that I could get to New York
for the funeral.
Frosh Camp was a fabulous experience, and I hated to miss even a few days.
Fran Levin Sisson '52
We appreciate the help in better dating the photograph and in identifying
the participants. Thanks, too, for sharing your memories-Editor.
Had a Wonderful Time
Compliments on the Winter 2002 issue. It caught my attention immediately with
the article on Alzheimer's disease, the article on [Tony Award-winning orchestrator]
Douglas Besterman '85, and the Meliora Weekend section.
The weekend was a grand event. I am pleased that I was there.
George H. Rappole '41
'Role Model' Remembered
I am writing to honor the life of a Rochester alumnus and to share a connection
that exists between two generations of Rochester students.
Don Gardner, a member of Rochester's Class of '57, passed away last year after
a battle with cancer. With his passing, Mary Ann and Jace Gardner lost a devoted
husband and father. My dad lost his best friend; and I, along with several of
my friends from Rochester's Class of '89, lost a teacher, a role model, and
Don Gardner and my father, John Murphy, first befriended one another as young
teachers, fresh out of college and the Navy, at Rochester's West High School
in the early '60s. Their friendship evolved as they pursued different paths
within the education field, and each eventually ended up in the Albany, New
As my brothers and I grew up, Mr. Gardner-along with his family-was always
an important part of our lives. He patiently taught all of the Murphys to ski.
He attended weddings and camping trips, and he followed our progress in school
and in life as if we were his own sons.
|Tony Vengrove '90, Tim Murphy '89, and A. C. White '89 (left to right)
at the first Don Gardner Golf Classic. The event will become an annual event
to raise money for the American Cancer Society in memory of Gardner '57.
When I expressed interest in attending Rochester, Mr. Gardner embraced the
prospect with passion. He wrote me a glowing recommendation, offered his assistance
in any way possible, and truly enjoyed the notion that I would be attending
his alma mater. When he and Mary Ann attended Parents Weekend with my mom and
dad during my junior year, I was not sure who was more proud-Mr. Gardner or
my own parents.
Mr. Gardner and I developed a certain kinship through our shared experience,
which spread to several of my friends from Rochester as they met him. He was
a regular fixture with my dad, my brother, and my friends on the golf course
and on the ski slopes, and, despite the rather sizeable gap in our ages, the
mood was always one of camaraderie and conviviality.
Don Gardner enjoyed the simple pleasures of life: the love of family, the company
of friends, a smooth run on the ski slopes, and a good round of golf. When he
passed away, my father chose to honor him the best way he knew how-by bringing
his family and friends together to play in a golf tournament in his name. I
was especially pleased with the number of my contemporaries-two generations
removed from Mr. Gardner and my father-who wanted to come out to enjoy the day
in his memory.
We have decided to make the Don Gardner Golf Classic an annual event in the
Albany area, and we welcome the participation of any of Mr. Gardner's friends
from his Rochester days at this year's tournament on August 3. Any interested
classmates can contact John Murphy at (518) 477-1058. Proceeds from the event
benefit the American Cancer Society.
Sometimes the true rewards from a university education, such as the one I received
from Rochester, do not come from a textbook. Moreover, they often do not
reveal themselves until years after graduation.
My experience at Rochester allowed me to connect with a man who would teach
me about dignity, humility, laughter, and the love of friends and family.
Tim Murphy '89
In a story on the 40th anniversary of the Plutzik Memorial Poetry Series [Winter
2002], Rochester Review misidentified the sponsor for the series.
The series, which honors the life and poetic career of the late Hyam Plutzik,
professor of English, is administered by the Department of English-Editor.
Maintained by University Public Relations
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