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Response From Marzillier

Posted by parhad on September 11, 2001 at 09:47:04:

Could someone please post this at aina...the usual.

From: "Marzillier, Leon F."
To: "''"
CC: "''" , "Wieder, Tyree O."

Mr. Parhad:

After extensive discussions, the college administration, Dr. Ross, and I
have come to agreement to go along with your request, and we have scheduled
the forum to be from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. on the evening of Monday, September
24, 2001 in Monarch Hall on our campus. We have also dropped the idea of
having a history professor introduce. Monarch Hall is our large auditorium
with a stage. I have requested that a table and chairs be set up on the
stage with microphones, with a Valley College tablecoth draping the table.
As agreed, I will moderate. I propose that you and Dr. Ross make opening
statements of 10 minutes each, followed by responses to each other's opening
statements of 5 minutes each. After that, members of the audience will be
invited to ask questions or make statements, and after each question or
statement, you and Dr. Ross will be permitted to respond for 2 minutes each.
In conclusion, I propose that you and Dr. Ross make closing statements of 5
minutes each. How does this sound to you?

We will advertise this event on campus, but we do not expect a large
particpation from our students or staff at that hour. The reason we
designated 6 p.m. as the starting time is so that interested students with 7
p.m. classes could attend at least a part of it. I have requested that 350
chairs be set up in the auditorium, unless you anticipate a larger turnout?
We thought that we would bill the event as: "A Forum on the Assyrians" and
list our three names as the presenters. Dr. Ross and I would be, of course,
identified as Valley College Professors. How would you like yourself to be
identified on the flyer advertising the event?

I think that about covers everything. We await your response.


Leon Marzillier

-----Original Message-----
From: []
Sent: Tuesday, September 04, 2001 8:26 PM
Subject: RE: Forum

Mr. Marzillier,

The comments of Dr. Ross were broadcast over the internet, not just among
your student body, therefore they concern the entire community, not just the
students at your college. There are many adults in your area who are
interested in this debate as it concerns them, their children and our
heritage. Let's face it, had you offended any other group but us, you would
not now be imposing these conditions.

You people are once again tossing more fuel onto the flames. Dr. Wieder was
correct in stating that Dr. Ross' comments on the internet are not
officially school business, but you can't tell me that if it was known that
Dr. Ross participated in KKK activities on his own time, it would be of no
concern to your school or the public.

His writing that we Assyrians "Killed more Jews than Hitler", is as close to
Hate Speech as anything needs to be. To equate our people with the one
demon we all recognize, and who is a subject taught in your school as one of
the most unsavory people ever to have been born, then to tell us, our
neighbors and countrymen that we are worse than a travesty you seem
to take far too lightly.

We have several lawyers in your area as well offices in Sacramento we could
complain to, not to mention the ACLU...I really think it would be better for
all of us if you took this a little more seriously. We do not feel at all
that you are doing us any courtesy. Quite the contrary we are looking to
you and your publicly funded college to make amends to our community for the
inexcusable comments an avowed amateur such as Dr. Ross made in class, on
your campus, while paid by all of us taxpayers to "teach" our children.

To have made such prejudicial comments about us and to us, while being so
completely ignorant of current thinking and research, relying on the Bible
of all things, is hardly an academic approach to our history and our people.
And we are only so patient. Before you react to what you might think is a
high handed tone, pause a minute and reflect on how much grief you will save
all of us by being a bit more forthcoming.

I know it seems a simple enough matter for you to take the part of the
accomodating party in this. But it is we who have been the understanding
ones, it is our community which has so far suffered this slander in silence.
This is a common mistake people with your attitude towards us Middle
Easterners make...because we are polite and conciliatory in the beginning,
you assume we must therefore be ready to accept whatever you deign to send
our way.

I doubt that you plan your athletic games, dances, or any number of other
activities at the noon hour to make it easier on your students and shut out
their parents who are working at that hour...and since when is a community
college not interested in serving the parents of its students, who have also
been dragged into this, as well as the tax payers who support you and your

The date you have chosen will do, but not the time. I will be coming to Los
Angeles to give a speech at our local Assyrian affiliate sometime soon.
They are keenly aware of what is going on and I will tell them what I can.
I ask you to re-consider the time. As to the history professor, it would be
helpful to know who it will be, the qualifications and the nature of the
comments to be made. Assyriology is a field undergoing rapid transformation
so that these concerns of ours are important. As Dr. Ross based his entire
"evaluation" on a source such as the Bible, we are rightly concerned that
any "expert" you might find, actually fit that description.


Fred Parhad

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