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Ashrawi Appears at Sept. 11 Event

September 13, 2002

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COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (AP) _ A Palestinian leader whose invitation to a conference on the Sept. 11 attacks drew protests told the gathering Thursday that the war on terror should not be seen as a simple battle of good and evil.

``We don’t have only good guys and bad guys. ... I believe there are many who would like to transform these realities and the tragedy of Sept. 11 into an endless cycle,″ Hanan Ashrawi, a lawmaker and former spokeswoman for Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat, told about 400 people at the symposium at Colorado College.

She condemned terrorism and suicide bombings as ``unacceptable,″ but also urged ``a genuine address of the causes of conflict and hatred″ in the Islamic world.

Three Republican state legislators had demanded the college cancel Ashrawi’s appearance, saying that allowing her to speak at the time of the anniversary would be ``a slap in the face.″

On Thursday, Ashrawi gave her speech as scheduled. Many students jeered when Ashrawi, who is considered a moderate in the Palestinian power structure, referred to the creation of Israel in 1948 as an ethnic cleansing of Palestinians.

Others said her ultimate message was peace.

``Her message was many things can be accomplished through nonviolent acts,″ said Lara Senekjian, a 19-year-old student from Ogden, Utah.

On the college lawn, about 200 supporters of Israel and 100 supporters of the Palestinian cause broke into shouting matches and waved banners.

Symposium participants were scheduled to hear Friday from Gideon Doron, president of the Israeli Association of Political Science.

The conference, titled ``September 11: One Year Later,″ also includes panel discussions on ``The New International Disorder″ and ``Evaluating U.S. Responses to Terrorism.″

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