Ryerson students watch news coverage of the Sept. 11 attacks ten years ago on campus. Eyeopener file photo

Quest for 9/11 truth comes to Rye

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By Matthew Oxman

Skeptics of the official 9/11 account will meet on campus this week for a four-day event, culminating on Sept. 11 — the 10-year anniversary of the terror attacks in New York and Washington, D.C.

“If I had my choice, I wish it wasn’t here,” said Ryerson President Sheldon Levy.

The event, which is sponsored by the Texas-based International Centre for 9/11 Studies, will be held in the International Living and Learning Centre (ILLC) beginning on Thursday, Sept. 8.

The group has been criticized for being insensitive to mourners of 9/11 victims, as well as those who have lost friends and family to the war in Afghanistan — a response to the 9/11 attacks that Canada now plays a non-combative role in.

Political professor Anver Saloojee said it needs to be clear that Ryerson is not hosting the event.

“Universities are about academic freedom and engaging in difficult questions, but it’s not Ryerson engaging in these questions,” he said.

But Levy has no doubts there will be criticism.

The group will present evidence of various 9/11 conspiracy theories to a five-member panel that will then, on the last day of the hearings, submit a report.

The event is already sold out, but it will be streamed live and for free on its official website.

“We wanted the world, in a sense to be our venue,” said Graeme MacQueen, a member of the organizing committee. He explained that reaching a larger number of people worldwide via the web was more important to the hearing committee than reaching a large audience in person. A DVD recording of the hearings will also be made available for purchase.

On the hearings’ website, Toronto was chosen as a host city to make it clear that the event is an international one. Also three of the panel members are Canadian. But organizers also wanted a location not too far away from New York so that victims’ family members ccould more easily attend.

MacQueen, who is from Hamilton, says the committee chose to rent space at Ryerson because the campus is conveniently located downtown, modern and “easy to deal with.”

MacQueen said the school in general also, “seems to us to be broad-minded.”

Providing this forum for free speech is one of the hallmarks of this university, according to Levy.

A standard fee is being charged to the event’s organizers. Ryerson Conference Services refused to comment any further on details on these costs citing privacy issues.

This group is not the only organization to raise speculation of the 9/11 attacks. Saloojee said there is a whole body of literature written on 9/11 and the unpreparedness of the Bush administration.

Third-year fashion design student Miriam Baker says Ryerson should have said no to holding the event on campus.

“I think it’s disgusting. I think they would probably deny the Holocaust as well,” she said. “I wouldn’t support it. It’s one of those things that makes me angry.”

Justin Black, a third-year radio and television arts student and member of the army reserves, has many colleagues who either have or intend to participate in the war in Afghanistan.

Although Black said the notion that the U.S. government planned the terror attacks — a common 9/11 conspiracy — is silly, he does not find the hearings offensive.

“This thing needs to be allowed, and even encouraged,” he said. But Black says fellow members of the army might be offended by the event and its timing.

“It’s part of the democratic process,” he said.

Who are the 9/11 skeptics?

• A not-for-profit organization dedicated to the scientific study of the attacks in New York and Washington on Sept. 11, 2001

• Their mission is to provide knowledge and to encourage a clearer understanding of the 9/11 attacks

• The group bases most of their research in engineering and physical sciences

• Past and current projects include a 26-page response to the National Institute of Standards and Technology’s (NIST) report explaining the collapse of the World Trade Center, they are actively promoting the release of all evidence that has been considered by government agencies involved in the investigations including video and photographic evidence, and is funding scientific research such as chemical analysis of The World Trade Center debris

• In 2009 the group filed a lawsuit against the NIST to try to obtain photographs and video footage during their investigation

• Some skeptics believe that World Trade Center Tower 7 was brought down by controlled demolition based on video evidence


  1. Pingback: Quest for 9/11 truth comes to Rye | One Stop News Stand

  2. There is incontrovertible evidence that the THREE WTC buildings were brought down with explosives. Material from the top floors could not have fallen THROUGH concrete and steel at near free-fall speed. That would defy Newton’s laws of motion. I respect the heroes who have given their lives for the US, the victims who died on 9/11, their families and friends. They remain heroes no matter what a new investigation may find.

    1. Actually, everything that you’re saying is completely wrong.

      Motive or oppurtunity DOES NOT equal evidence.

  3. What took place on September 11 was nor should never ever be forgotten. The terrorists who committed this crime of crimes should receive the same non- sympathy as they gave their victims, merciless and agonizing as it was. To suggest that this was an inside job is about a laughable as politician making and keeping an election promise. No , this was an act of terrorism, plain and simple and we must never forget this, nor should we ever again let our guard down or cave into the will of terror.

    We need to fully and unconditionally support our military and law enforcement efforts to root out terror where ever and when ever possible. The second we give into terror , we are victims of terror.

  4. First of all…rest in peace to all the people who died in the incident(attack).

    Based on the video’s and news that i saw and read from all over the world..there is a strong chance of this 911 attack as an inside job to me..say 80% chance..There are so many things that dont add up when you analyze the incidents and the more i read and see,the more it makes me believe that it was an inside job…i could ask 100’s question” why” where i would say US Govt would not want to give an answer to !!!

  5. The reason the buildings fell was very obvious. A aircraft travelinbg at high speed hits building, showers it with highly flameble jet fuel, catches fire, melts steel, destroys building supports, gravity takes over, building falls. How hard is to understand? There was no conspiracy , it was a terrorist attack , not someones idea cooked idea idea that the cigarette smoking man is hiding aliens from us and killing anyone who discovers them. People, wake up and join the real world already , when you have fanatical morons who are hell bent on destroying anything that is based on freedom and democracy, these people will stop at nothing to create fear and terror to get their fanatical points across.

  6. “I think they would probably deny the Holocaust as well”

    What a ludicrous, vile quote coming from a fellow student. Surely the contributor could have found someone else with something meaningful to say (against the conference) instead of printing this ignorant garbage. I’m embarrassed for all intelligent Ryerson students who have been misrepresented by this drivel.

  7. I strongly suggest everyone who doesn’t believe that 9/11 was an inside job to go to one or more of the seminars. Being humble and acknowledging you don’t know everything is part of being human, compared to arrogance and ignorance which (paraphrased as Shakespeare would say) makes us more like instinctual, stupid animals. If one looks at the evidence; that dozens of years ago hijacked planes were easily intercepted, that in 2001 all or most of USA’s two thousand fighter jets were running practice missions which is absolutely no excuse for the world’s strongest military’s headquarters to be left unguarded, and that’s besides the fact that the wings of the huge plane did simply not exist on the crash site, and the hole was much too small, but also local gas stations’ video cameras were confiscated as evidence and have never seen the light of day just like the blackboxes aboard the hijacked planes… So basically by looking at the facts, one can make a strong, supported logical opinion instead of believing that “oh it wasn’t an inside job!” By the way look up the burning point of the airplane gas and the melting point of steel. Science wins. Sorry.

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