WashU condemns student's removal of 2,977 American flags on 9/11 at St. Louis campus

Student removes flags
Photo credit (Provided by Nathaniel Hope)

ST. LOUIS (KMOX) - The chancellor of Washington University in St. Louis has released multiple statements condemning the actions by a student to remove thousands of American flags on campus that were placed by other students on the 20th anniversary of the September 11 attacks. The student who removed the flags was seen with the flags on video that has since gone viral.

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Chancellor Andrew Martin called it "reprehensible" and stated, "the removal of the flags impeded the ability of individuals to commemorate the lives lost on 9/11 and to process the trauma of that day.”

The WashU College Republicans lined Mudd Field on the St. Louis campus with 2,977 flags Friday night to represent each victim of the 9/11 attacks. A video shared by Nathaniel Hope showed another student, Fadel Alkilani, who had put the flags in trash bags and carries them away:

Alkilani, who is Student Union Vice President of Finance, says he took the flags down because, "Those who died during 9/11 deserve better than to be used as a political tool by those who seek to excuse American imperialism and Islamophobia.” He said he wrote on the sides of the trash bags full of flags some statistics "explaining the human cost of 9/11."

"I did not deface, destroy, damage, nor steal any flags, nor did I interfere with any registered event time. I assert that I did not violate any University Code of Conduct policy, though the conduct process is undergoing," he stated.

The university's latest social media posts have become a haven for Islamophobic hatred and threats towards Alkilani and his family.

Some are calling for Alkilani to be expelled from the school. He was not mentioned by name in the statement from the Chancellor.

Hope, a College Republican club member, joined our partner stations 97.1 FM Talk to discuss his video of Alkilani.

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