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Student government official caught red-handed yanking flags from 9/11 memorial

A student senator at Washington University in St. Louis was nabbed red-handed removing American flags from a 9/11 memorial on this day of tribute.

According to The New Guard, a member of the WashU College Republicans recorded Fadel Alkilani carrying trash bags full of the flags he had just yanked.

Alkilani told the person filming that the memorial was “in violation of school rules” and he “expressed no remorse” for his actions.

When the Young America’s Foundation contacted Alkilani about the incident, he told the group “I did not violate any university or legal policy. Now go away.”

The senator said in a now-protected tweet that he plucked the flags as a “protest against American imperialism and the 900,000 lives lost as a result of post 9/11 war.”

He also tweeted in response to YAF that he wasn’t throwing the flags away but “labeling them in bags on the field.”


According to WashU students who were taking part in the 9/11: Never Forget Project, Alkilani had attempted to trash the memorial on Friday night … until campus police arrived and thwarted him. After his vandalism today and subsequent replanting of the flags, police told him he’d be arrested if he tried a third time.

MORE: Prof: 9/11 was an ‘attack on heteropatriarchal capitalistic systems’

YAF asked WashU if Alkilani will face any university discipline, but has yet to receive a response.

According to his LinkedIn profile, Alkilani is chair of the WashU Student Union’s Budget Committee which “allocat[es] $3.6 million a year.” His Twitter profile indicates “he/him” pronouns and the slogan “Free Palestine.”

Writing for the Washington University Political Review two years ago, Alkilani said the unification of Americans on today’s date is not “around a positive ideal, but one centered on hatred of Muslims.” He asked “How many Sikh people have died at the hands of an ignorant white man, whose eyes burned with hatred at the sight of someone different?” in reference to a post-9/11 assault against a man mistaken for a Muslim.

Alkilani also claimed in his piece that “Americans ache for another moment in time when the country was united in hatred,” that American soldiers are “raised in a hateful environment” and that “old, white retirees on their couches” lap up Fox News’ “perspective that Muslims are a threat to the nation.”

Alkilani was accused of “anti-Black activity” in 2019 for his actions against a fellow member of the student government, and called upon to resign. A petition supporting that person alleged Alkilani had a “history of racially insensitive comments such as referring to Majora Carter, Stacey Abrams and Yvonne Orji as ‘low-budget Blacks.’” Alkilani denied having said that specific comment.

Read the New Guard article.

MORE: 9/11 firefighter shares what students should learn about the terror attack

IMAGES: Shutterstock.com; Twitter screencap

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