Rally Held After GMU Student's Arrest

About 100 students attended a noon rally yesterday at George Mason University in support of a student who said he was arrested Thursday by campus police for protesting the presence of a military recruiter in the student center.

Tariq Khan, 27, of Falls Church said he was standing about four feet from a Marine Corps recruiter with a sign on his chest that read: "Recruiters lie. Don't be deceived." Khan, who said he served four years in the U.S. Air Force, said campus police asked him to leave the area after two students ripped off his sign. He said that he refused to leave the area and that police used force to remove him from the center.

Daniel L. Walsch, a school spokesman, said the university was investigating the campus police role in the arrest and whether Khan violated university rules. "George Mason reiterates its deep commitment to freedom of speech," Provost Peter N. Stearns said in a statement read by students at the rally. "We must work to avoid attacks on expressions of free speech, including destruction of signs and other written statements."

Khan said he was charged with disorderly conduct and trespassing.

By  |  October 4, 2005; 11:48 AM ET  | Category:  Colleges and Universities
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