- News Home
6 March 2014 1:04 pm ,
Vol. 343 ,
Early in April, the first of a fleet of environmental monitoring satellites will lift off from Europe's spaceport in...
Since 2000, U.S. government health research agencies have spent almost $1 billion on an effort to churn out thousands...
Magdalena Koziol, a former postdoc at Yale University, was the victim of scientific sabotage. Now, she is suing the...
Antiretroviral drugs can protect people from becoming infected by HIV. But so-called pre-exposure prophylaxis, or PrEP...
Two studies show that eating a diet low in protein and high in carbohydrates is linked to a longer, healthier life, and...
Considered an icon of conservation science, researchers at World Wildlife Fund (WWF) headquarters in Washington, D.C.,...
The new atlas, which shows the distribution of important trace metals and other substances, is the first product of...
- 6 March 2014 1:04 pm , Vol. 343 , #6175
- About Us
Grad Student Charged With Murdering Cultural Anthropologist
7 December 2009 5:14 pm
Another bloody campus murder occurred last Friday. This time it was at Binghamton University in New York state, where anthropologist Richard T. Antoun, who specialized in Muslim cultures, allegedly was stabbed to death by an anthropology graduate student from Saudi Arabia. Abdulsalam Al-Zahrani, 46, was charged early Saturday morning with second-degree murder in the death of the 77-year-old Antoun in his Science I building office.
The alleged killer reportedly was "angry at the world for lack of financial support for his graduate studies," says Binghamton anthropologist H. Stephen Straight. Antoun was one of Al-Zahrani's advisers for his dissertation, the topic of which was "Sacred Voice, Profane Sight: The Senses, Cosmology, and Epistemology in Early Arabic Culture." Al-Zahrani wanted money to do field work in Detroit, which has a large Muslim community. Less than a half-hour before the murder he had asked for a transfer to another department where he thought he might get funded.
Straight says unlike some misfit murderers, "everybody felt very good about what he [Al-Zahrani] was doing. …The degree of [mental] imbalance reported recently is totally new to faculty and students who knew this person. A lot of people respected him [and] enjoyed his company."
Al-Zahrani shared an apartment with two other men who saw a very different side of him—one that was confrontational, felt he was persecuted for being a Muslim, and "acted like a terrorist." One of his roommates had reported his erratic behavior to the university counseling center.
Antoun was active in peace-related causes and concerned about dispelling negative perceptions about Muslims. On the Binghamton faculty since 1976, his specialties included comparative religion and Islamic law and ethics. His best known work was a book, Understanding Fundamentalism: Christian, Islamic and Jewish Movements, published in 2001.