Moonlighting: Non-Specialists in the News
Nelson Responds to Siddique Controversy [Kaukab Siddique]
by Nicole Lockley
The Lincolnian (student newspaper of Lincoln University)
October 29, 2010
\Responding to mounting pressure from outside groups, university president Ivory V. Nelson released a formal statement Thursday denouncing associate professor Kaukab Siddique's anti-Israel statements last month.Note: Articles listed under "Moonlighting: Non-Specialists in the News" provide information on current developments concerning Middle East studies on North American campuses. These reports do not necessarily reflect the views of Campus Watch and do not necessarily correspond to Campus Watch's critique.
Nelson also sought to distance the university from Siddique, noting that his views didn't reflect the institution.
"Like all faculty members, he is entitled to express his personal views in conversation or in public forums, as long as he does not present such opinions as the views of the university," Nelson said in the statement.
At a rally during Labor Day weekend in Washington, D.C., Siddique was asked to speak on behalf the Palestinian community. During his speech he called for the destruction and dismantling of Israel.
"And I say to the Muslims, dear brothers and sisters, unite and rise up against this hydra-headed monster which calls itself Zionism," Siddique said at the rally.
Since the rally, Siddique has denied being anti-Semitic, a terrorist and other allegations referring to his past writings claiming the Holocaust was a hoax.
"When I refer critically to the 'Jews' I am referring to the current leadership of the 'state of Israel' and to their major supports, not the Jewish race as a whole," he said in an email to Christian Broadcast Network (CBN), an outlet founded by televangelist Pat Robertson.
Siddique said he has received hate mail and calls, including a threatening call from a man who claimed to be a member of the National Rifle Association. Siddique, in a recent radio appearance on the campus radio station, also said his previous writings have been misinterpreted.
But Nelson, facing queries from state legislators and criticism from groups such as the Anti-Defamation League, condemned Siddique for the Labor Day statements and his previous writings.
"His latest activities, like his earlier writings and statements, are an insult to all decent people," Nelson said. "I hope everyone understands that Siddique's statements and assertions are his own, and they in no way represent the views of Lincoln University or me. His statements on this issue reflect poorly on the reputation and integrity of Lincoln University."
Nelson and other faculty members received emails questioning Siddique's position at the university, including a letter sent from state Sen. Anthony H. Williams.
"We cannot take action at this time based on the content of Siddique's statements and opinions," Nelson said.
Siddique has been a member of the English faculty for 25 years.
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