Two more Guilford College football players were charged Thursday with beating a group of Palestinian students during a drunken weekend brawl, and the FBI is investigating whether a hate crime occurred on the small Quaker campus.

Five members of the Greensboro school’s football team now face charges of assault and racial intimidation.

Three Palestinian students, one of whom attends N.C. State University, told authorities that, early Saturday morning, the players pummeled them with fists, feet and brass knuckles while calling them “terrorists” and shouting racial slurs.

The incident is prompting concern among Muslims all over North Carolina and drawing media attention from around the country.

However, details of the fight are still unclear.

Aaron Fetrow, Guilford College’s dean for campus life, said his staff has interviewed a dozen witnesses and several participants in the fight, which occurred outside a dormitory. He said school officials have gotten contradictory accounts, and still don’t know what started the fight.
He said most witnesses agree on only two basic facts — that there was a large fight and that racial slurs were shouted.

“I have read every statement, and I have only a fuzzy picture of what happened,” Fetrow said.
Seth Cohen, a Greensboro lawyer representing the three Palestinians, said his clients were the victims of an unprovoked attack.

“They were minding their own business,” Cohen said. “There is not one scintilla of evidence that they did anything wrong in this incident.”

He said two of the Guilford students, Osama Sabbah and Faris Khader, had attended a Quaker school in the West Bank city of Ramallah and had received scholarships to attend Guilford. Both suffered concussions and Khader has a broken nose, Cohen said.


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