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Warrior-Mentor 12-05-2009 06:12

Binghamton Middle Eastern Studies Professor Murdered
This story is interesting...little coverage of a Grad Student on a U.S. campus killing his professor in broad day light.
No mention of the suspect's name, which is clearly known to the students and/or campus police and
could easily be discovered by the reporters, yet it isn't reported...

What could possibly be the motive? Bad grades?



Professor Passes Away After Stabbing at Binghamton University
Dec 4, 2009

Violence strikes the Binghamton University campus in Vestal.

As a professor passed away after being attacked by a student.

A Binghamton University professor is dead tonight after being stabbed by an anthropology student.

It happened around 1:45 pm Friday in the Science 1 Building on campus.

This is video of the hallway where the incident happened.

A witness tells Action News that an older male graduate student entered the office of professor Richard Antoun and then stabbed him.

The witness also says she saw campus police tackle the assailant to the ground, then emergency service workers rushed to Antoun's side to treat him.

"We waited, he came out of the office after about ten minutes, they were doing chest compressions, it didn't really look good. It was an anthropology grad student who was doing middle eastern studies I believe," said BU Senior Devin Sheppard.

Campus officials say the suspect in custody, but have yet to release his name.

University Police and the New York State Police continue to investigate.

Science 1 will remain closed until noon Saturday, at which time access to the building will be allowed, except in the area of the investigation.

University President Lois DeFleur issued this statement about Antoun's death earlier this evening:

"This afternoon, in an act of senseless violence, the Binghamton University community lost one of its long-time faculty members...Our hearts go out to the Antoun family and we will provide them with as much assistance as we can in this time of sorrow," said DeFleur.

Governor David Paterson also released a statement saying quote:

"He touched the lives of many students and was respected by his colleagues. Though he will be missed on campus, he will live on in his writing, his research and his students, whose lives he forever changed," Paterson says.

The University is offering assistance to any member of the campus community affected by Antoun's death.


VESTAL -- A longtime Binghamton University anthropology professor was stabbed to death inside a BU science building this afternoon. Campus police have a male suspect in custody, but had not charged him as of 5 p.m.

Professor Emeritus Richard T. Antoun, 77, of Vestal died Friday afternoon after being taken to Wilson Hospital in Johnson City, where he was rushed after being attacked inside BU’s Science 1 building.

Professors who were in the building at the time said Antoun was stabbed by a graduate student. Police took the student into custody in the building shortly after the attack. They had not released his name Friday afternoon.

University officials said there is no danger to students or others on the Vestal campus as a result of the incident, but urged the campus community Friday afternoon to stay clear of the Science I building, which was to remain closed until noon Saturday. Students were notified about the stabbing by text message from the university.

It was unclear Friday evening when the suspect might be arraigned. Vestal Supervisor Peter Andreasen said an arraignment would not necessarily have to take place in Vestal, because two state agencies – the State Police and University Police – are involved.

Antoun was stabbed four times with a 6-inch kitchen blade inside a campus office, according to police radio transmissions.

Devin Sheppard, a BU student, said she heard from students who were in the Science Building that campus police had tackled the assailant.

“The police asked the grad student, ‘did you just stab him,” and he said yes,” Sheppard said.

Antoun was rushed from the building on a wheeled stretcher and loaded into a Harpur’s Ferry ambulance that was parked on a walkway outside the building.

BU President Lois DeFleur condemned the slaying as “an act of senseless violence.”

She said counselors would be on duty at the University Counseling Center until 8 p.m., or by calling (607) 777-2772. Counselors will also be available throughout the weekend by calling 777-2393.

A number of students around the Science building Friday afternoon said they weren't certain what had happened, nor did they know why the hallway near Antoun's office had been closed off with yellow police tape. Several said they have not registered with the university to receive text messages notifying them of emergencies.

Some classes continued to take place during the afternoon inside the building, which is on the eastern edge of the BU quadrangle not far from the Bartle library. There are no classrooms in the section of the building where the stabbing occurred.

“It's kind of scary because it’s so close,” said Jacqui Boroda, 21, a BU senior. She works at Jazzmans, a coffee house in BU’s Academic Building B, which is next to Science I. She said her boss saw the police heading into the building with guns drawn.

Professors and students said the mood in the building was one of shock and fear.

“It’s scary as hell,” said Peter Knuepfer, an associate professor of geological sciences who works in Science I. “It’s another one of those things like the downtown shooting (at the American Civic Association, where 13 people were fatally shot in April).

“You think it happens somewhere else, but it happens here too.”

Antoun, who had lived on Vestal’s Murray Hill Road for a number of years, is a published author who has written several books. He published the book Understanding Fundamentalism: Christian, Islamic, and Jewish Movements

A BU biography of Antoun shows that he received a doctorate from Harvard University in Massachusetts in 1963. The bio describes Antoun as an emeritus professor who is a, “sociocultural anthropologist who has conducted research among peasants in Jordan, urbanites in Lebanon, peasant-farmers in Iran, and migrants in Texas and Greece.

His scholarly interests center on comparative religion and symbolic systems, the social organization of tradition in Islamic law and ethics, the sociology of dispute with respect to tribal law in the Middle East, local-level politics, and the impact of transnational migration on education, work, and cultural change.”

Sheppard and professors said Antoun was “a really nice guy.”

Staff writers George Basler, Matt Coleman, Jennifer Micale and Debbie Swartz contributed to this story.


Professor Antoun's Author Page on Amazon:

Red Flag 1 12-05-2009 07:05

Not an alum there, but my home town.

Well respected University with a very strong pre-med program.

RF 1

Richard 12-05-2009 07:24

Sounds as if there's been a lot going on at BU.

The attack comes nearly eight months to the day 13 people were massacred by a single gunman at the American Civic Association in Binghamton. It also extended BU's string of misfortune. In the past year and a half, the university has endured the near-death beating of one of its students and the flight to Serbia of one of the alleged assailants -- former BU basketball player Miladin Kovacevic; a sexual harassment suit brought by one of its employees; the legal and off-the-court troubles that dismantled the basketball team; and an ongoing SUNY investigation. Unanswered questions continue to swirl around all of those events.


Red Flag 1 12-05-2009 10:06

The area has been in economical decline for decades. I return about every six months to visit with friends and family. Once the home of EJ shoes, (made combat boots during WW II) Spaulding bread, two large IBM plants, Singer Link, Universal Instruments and supporting businesses, including five large hospitals. Three major highways intersect in Binghamton. All these have closed, hospitals now really cut back with a decrease of 60% bed space. The main industry now is Binghamton University.

With the economy being so bad, crime is through the roof. Growing up, there were only a handfull of murders, not so today. The bulk of the BU students come from outside the area, many from NYC. With the troubles, BU could well see a decline in student registrations. This will make the awful situation Binghamton is in, all the worse. The downtown center of Binghamton is nearly a ghost town now.

The sad part is that area decline was self made. No incentives for industry, high taxes with little service. Binghamton once was the AAA farm team for the Yankees. We saw the likes of Whitey Ford, Elston Howard, and Johnny Blanchard play ball in our city. The ball park was always packed; today's Mets farm team sees more pavement than cars in it's parking lot.

RF 1

greenberetTFS 12-05-2009 10:48

Very sad story Jim,sorry to hear it....... Is your family safe where they are living? :(

Big Teddy

Warrior-Mentor 12-05-2009 11:43


Originally Posted by Red Flag 1 (Post 300256)
Not an alum there, but my home town.

Well respected University with a very strong pre-med program.

RF 1

I'm sure your family and friends will keep you posted on the developments...please keep us posted as well.

Red Flag 1 12-05-2009 11:57

Will do!!

Will be traveling there the week prior to Christmas. Will likely talk with the folks tomorrow.

Big Teddy, they are both in their 90's, living independently at the homestead. They still do their own shopping and such. Mom still volunteers at one of the hospitals one day a week. Try as I might, just can't bomb them out of there. A brother lives about 20 minutes away.

Thanks for asking amigo!

RF 1

ps, have speedie marinade recipe if anyone is interested. Already have one taker.


Warrior-Mentor 12-05-2009 22:38

Abdulsalam Al-Zahrani, 46, of Binghamton has been charged with the murder of Binghamton University Professor Richard Antoun (Photo provided)

Suspect identified in fatal stabbing of Binghamton University professor:

VESTAL — Abdulsalam Al-Zahrani has been charged with second-degree murder in the stabbing death of Binghamton University Professor Richard T. Antoun.

Al-Zahrani was taken to the Broome County Jail at 1:30 a.m. Saturday, said Broome County Sheriff’s Sgt. Paul Carlson. He arraigned in Vestal Town Court Saturday morning. No bail was set.

Al-Zahrani, of Main Street, Binghamton, was charged by Binghamton University Police. Al-Zahrani was a cultural anthropology student working on his dissertation, according to the university Web site.



Warrior-Mentor 12-05-2009 22:44


P.S. We need an "emoticon" for "please pass the bong."

Richard 12-06-2009 06:19

Seems as if nobody has a monopoly on nutcases...still.


Warrior-Mentor 12-06-2009 06:34


Originally Posted by Richard (Post 300426)

Seems as if nobody has a monopoly on nutcases...still.


3 Muslim students say they tried to avoid Al-Zahrani
Doug Schneider
5December 2006

VESTAL -- Encounters with accused killer Abdulsalam Al-Zahrani led several local Muslims to take steps to avoid him when they saw him on campus or elsewhere in the community.

Al-Zahrani, the man accused of fatally stabbing Binghamton University Professor Richard Antoun on campus Friday, had accused fellow Middle Eastern students of following him, answering a greeting of peace with an obscene insult, and disparaging a local mosque, according to three students interviewed Saturday night.

"Tell these students not to follow me," Awni Qasaimeh, a Jordanian studying for his doctorate in industrial and systems engineering, said Al-Zahrani told him last week. "Do not make me trouble."

Qasaimeh said Al-Zahrani mentioned three students by name, causing Qasaimeh to wonder if Al-Zahrani might want to harm the students. To Qasaimeh, Al-Zahrani did not behave like a Muslim because he smoked tobacco during Ramadan and failed to attend Friday prayer services.

Al-Zahrani faces a murder charge in the death of Antoun, an emeritus professor of anthropology. He was stabbed with a knife in an office area of BU's Science I building.

Mohammad Hamasha, another doctoral student from Jordan, recalled an encounter with Al-Zahrani on a bus in Johnson City a year ago.

Hamasha said he addressed Al-Zahrani with a traditional Muslim greeting meaning "peace be upon you." He said Al-Zahrani responded, "you are the brother of a (expletive)."

Hamasha was saddened this weekend to learn that tragedy had connected Al-Zahrani and Antoun.

"He (Antoun) had come to my country," said Hamasha, who recalled the professor speaking at Yarmouk University in Jordan. "He had made a very good impression" on people with whom he spoke.

Though Al-Zahrani claimed to be Muslim, the students said, a true follower of the religion would not have harmed a professor or have spoken as Al-Zahrani did. Kasim Kopuz, imam of the Islamic Association of the Southern Tier, said association members were not familiar with Al-Zahrani.

One student was offended by a comment Al-Zahrani made to him about a year ago.

"He insulted Islam, my religion, which is a good religion," said Samer Salameh, a master's degree candidate, who said Al-Zahrani used the phrase 'garbage in Johnson City' in an apparent reference to a local mosque. "That is not acting like a Muslim."

SF-TX 12-07-2009 12:11

2 Attachment(s)

Originally Posted by Warrior-Mentor (Post 300404)

P.S. We need an "emoticon" for "please pass the bong."

Whew! I'm glad the DA has already determined that it wasn't religiously based. We wouldn't want the unwashed masses to jump to conclusions and think ill of the Religion of Peace.


Muslim student accused of stabbing Jewish prof
Saudi national entered office, attacked Mideast scholar
Posted: December 05, 2009
10:35 pm Eastern


A Muslim anthropology graduate student is being charged with second-degree murder in the stabbing death of a Jewish professor at Binghamton University in Vestal, New York.

The victim is Richard Antoun, 77, professor of Middle Eastern studies and the author of "Understanding Fundamentalism: Christian, Islamic and Jewish Movements."

The man in custody is Abdulsalam Al-Zahrani, 46-year-old Saudi national.

The attack took place Friday afternoon when the student entered the professor's office and stabbed him, according to an eyewitness. Campus police tackled the assailant to the ground, while emergency service workers rushed to Antoun's side.

University President Lois DeFleur issued the following statement Friday: "This afternoon, in an act of senseless violence, the Binghamton University community lost one of its long-time faculty members. ... Our hearts go out to the Antoun family and we will provide them with as much assistance as we can in this time of sorrow."

New York Gov. David Paterson also released a statement about the victim: "He touched the lives of many students and was respected by his colleagues. Though he will be missed on campus, he will live on in his writing, his research and his students, whose lives he forever changed."

Antoun received a doctorate from Harvard in 1963 and joined the Binghamton faculty in the early 1970s. He was "a sociocultural anthropologist who has conducted research among peasants in Jordan, urbanites in Lebanon, peasant farmers in Iran and migrants in Texas and Greece," according to the univerrsity's website. He retired in 1999 as professor emeritus.

"He dedicated his life to trying to understand the people of the Middle East," the professor's sister Linda Miller, of Holden, Mass., told the New York Times. "He never said an unkind word to anyone in his life. "Miller’s husband, the Rev. David J. Miller, said that Antoun had been married to his wife, Rosalyn, for 17 years and had a son, Nicholas, 40.

Richard 12-07-2009 12:27

And so it goes...



Antoun Remembered As A Friend Of Many Faiths
Tom Wilber, Star Gazette, 6 Dec 2009

Members of the Islamic community gathered Sunday in Johnson City to remember Richard Antoun and to denounce the act of violence that took his life.

Antoun, a Mideast scholar and peace activist, was fatally stabbed Friday afternoon in his Binghamton University office. Abdulsalam S. Al-Zahrani, a BU post-graduate student, is charged with second-degree murder.

Although Al-Zahrani is purportedly Muslim, he was unknown to local Muslims and did not participate in community events, said Kasim Kopuz, imam at the Islamic Organization of the Southern Tier's mosque in Johnson City.

The crime Al-Zahrani is accused of -- killing a teacher -- is senseless in the context of Muslim tradition and belief that places teachers equal to or above parents in rank.

"A parent nourishes one's body while a teacher nourishes his soul," Kopuz said, citing the Prophet Muhammad.

Antoun was active with many different religious groups, and a member of the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Binghamton. On Friday, the church will have a memorial service beginning at 12:30 p.m., said Kate Thorpe, president of the board of directors.

"He was easily befriended and a good friend to have," she said.

Antoun had friends of many faiths.

Kopuz and Entisham Siddiqui, president of the Islamic Organization of the Southern Tier, addressed about 70 people who attended a brief remembrance for Antoun Sunday at the mosque. They described him as a friend to the local Muslim community who often partook in events to expand religious tolerance and cooperation among faiths.

"We will sadly miss him," Kopuz said. "He was an embodiment of light and knowledge."

Siddiqui said Antoun's murder "goes beyond all explanation ... A lot of us are struggling to understand this tragedy. I've been asked repeatedly, and frankly, I have no clue."

As another example of his respect among all faith groups, Antoun was scheduled to participate in a seminar Sunday at Temple Israel in Vestal, exploring Christianity, Judaism and Islamic days of rest and other aspects of religious practice.

Several hundred people who attended the event at the Jewish synagogue observed a moment of silence in his memory.

Rosalyn Antoun, Richard's widow, urged the program to continue as scheduled, said Rabbi Barbara Goldman Wartell, of Temple Concord, one of the organizers of the event.

"She said this type of thing is our only hope for the future," Wartell said.

The rabbi described Richard as "mensch," a Yiddish work for a person who is highly regarded for kindness and integrity.

"It's a word for a person who you aspire to be like and want your kids to be like," she said.

Antoun was also remembered and mourned Sunday in the online world.

Thomas Blumenthal, 26, a sophomore at Binghamton University, created a Facebook group in memory of Antoun.

By late Sunday, the group had 1,270 members, who used the online forum to express their sympathy and write of their personal experiences with the well-respected anthropology professor emeritus.

The Reaper 12-07-2009 12:36

For the sake of argument, lets say, an Aryan Nation or Nazi extremist was killing Jewish or black Americans at a rate of one per day.

How long would this go on before someone demanded an end to it, and sought to break the organization by application of legal pressure? HEAVY legal pressure. Like the RICO Act being used to bankrupt the organizations and their front organizations.

I do not see much difference here. Why are we not taking this threat seriously?

Is Janet from Another Planet, AG Holder, and the SPLC still looking for white, male, gun-owning, Christian, veteran extremists? Is it possible that they should refocus their efforts? How many more will die before they do?


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