Since the riots of the late 1960s to promote the creation of a black studies department under Nathan Hare, a professor who believed that the academy should be an inspiration for action in the streets, San Francisco State University has had a reputation for being a seedbed for radicalism. To the delight of many of its faculty and students, Hare’s union of theory and practice, what revolutionary Marxists call praxis, has strengthened over the years.
Lynne F. Stewart, who was sentenced to prison for being the liaison between her client, Sheik Omar Abdel Rahman, and his violent followers in Cairo, was feted at SFSU even while awaiting sentencing. Rahman, known as the blind sheik, tried to blow up the World Trade Center in 1993, an action that left death and injury in its wake.
Stewart made representations to the U.S. attorney during the Rahman trial that she needed repeated access to her client to carry out a defense. Instead, she transmitted messages from him to the Muslim Brotherhood back in Cairo, a fundamentalist group that murdered Anwar Sadat and has been busy cleansing Egypt of Coptic Christians.