Opinion: Allegations are enough to scare me

Samantha Karam is a sophomore journalism major. Contact her at [email protected].

Samantha Karam

Major news outlets have picked up on a story from KentWired.com about the FBI investigating a Kent State associate professor of history for having affiliations with the Islamic State group. The story broke last night and has been developing over the past 24 hours.

This is a huge story and though it’s just an investigation at this point, a lot of students are demanding answers. I have a few questions of my own.

First off, why is the FBI investigating Julio Pino in the first place?

According to the KentWired.com article, “In 2011, he shouted ‘death to Israel’ during a lecture from Ishmael Khaldi.

Aside from that instance, all I’m finding are allegations against him. He is allegedly involved directly with ISIS and is accused of trying to recruit students to join the organization. These allegations haven’t been verified, so what else has he done to grab the attention of the FBI?

Well, his previous Facebook cover photos are of men holding guns. When I saw that for the first time, I cringed. Those photos portray what I think ISIS looks like. They concern me. Pino has changed his cover photo multiple times since these disconcerting photos. Currently, his cover photo is of him teaching. It looks innocent.

My next question is, what is the university doing?

In an interview with Pino, Kent Stater editor Emily Mills on Kentwired.com asked asked Pino if he will continue to teach this semester and come back next fall. He said yes. The university spokesman, Eric Mansfield, made no comment on the status of Pino’s employment.

Anything or anyone possibly associated with the Islamic State group is going to scare a lot of people.

ISIS is a major terrorist organization. How are students supposed to sleep at night knowing there’s a possibility one of our teachers is associated with the most notorious terrorist organization in today’s papers?

College campuses are constantly filled with people. We have thousands of students, hundreds of professors and multiple buildings. That’s all I keep thinking about.

An unnamed FBI agent assured Mills that students have nothing to worry about, so hopefully these allegations against Pino prove to be nothing.

For more information contact Samantha Karam at [email protected].