Staff editorial: Banning freedom

President George W. Bush’s newest front in the “war on terrorism” is the classroom, and it will seriously harm academic freedom in this country if his preposterous ideas take effect. According to the Chronicle of Higher Education, Bush is considering banning foreign students from learning certain “sensitive” subjects. In theory it would keep terrorists from learning important tricks of the trade, but in practice it would categorize all foreigners as terrorists and put American education in dangerous new territory of exclusion.

Bush’s directive, “Combating Terrorism Through Immigration Policies,” seeks to bar foreign students from studying “sensitive areas.” Banning freedom of education through discrimination is what the directive really is. The United States has an open and free education system that this policy would radically change for the worse.

In the event the directive gets implemented, it will do nothing to stop home-grown terrorists from committing horrific acts like the Oklahoma City bombing. Furthermore, it assumes guilt based solely on a student’s nationality and choice of major.

Security is important, but restricting freedom with broad, highly subjective rules that discriminate is not the answer. This country has simply come too far and learned too much to succumb to discrimination.

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