Students still plan to request apology from Peretz
Sahar Massachi '11, one of the students who wrote a letter to Martin Peretz '59 demanding an apology for his remarks regarding Muslims in his column of The New Republic, still plans to send the letter after Peretz's apology was made public. Massachi had planned to mail it to the office of The New Republic as soon as the 500 Brandeis community members signed the letter online, which happened after Peretz had published an apology.
"Attacking people's First Amendment rights is un-American, un-Brandeisian, and unethical," reads the letter, its last words stating, "We, the united Brandeis community, respectfully and firmly demand you apologize."
The letter was in response to remarks Peretz made in his Sept. 4 column of "The Spine" in The New Republic, stating that "frankly, Muslim life is cheap, most notably to Muslims," and going on to say: "I wonder whether I need honor these people and pretend that they are worthy of the privileges of the First Amendment which I have in my gut the sense that they will abuse."
On Sept. 13, Peretz issued an apology addressed at his previous remarks. "I do not think that any group or class of persons in the United States should be denied the protections of the First Amendment, not now, not ever," he wrote, but did not apologize for his other statement that called Muslim life "cheap," which he described as "a statement of fact, not value."
The Union Senate formed a separate letter, and the Union Executive Board drafted a press release on the matter, both of which denounced Peretz's statements but did not call for an apology.
Massachi explained in an e-mail to the Justice that he plans to still send the letter to The New Republic because "we [those who wrote the letter] have an obligation to our membership [those who signed the letter]" to send the letter.
Peretz has not contacted Massachi about the letter.