Middle East studies in the News
'Extremely Strict': Ex-Mizzou Instructor Accused of Dragging Teen No Favorite of Students [on Youssif Omar]
by Perry Chiaramonte
The former University of Missouri instructor who police say last week dragged a teenage relative out of a classroom by her hair for not wearing a hijab probably didn't have an advanced degree in self-awareness.
Youssif Omar, 53, of Columbia, who the school stressed has not taught there since July, was an editor at Artifacts, the school's student culture journal. In an August "editor's note," he seemed to foreshadow last week's events.
"It is very hard for some people to be away from their own culture because they find themselves confined to the deep-rooted beliefs and customs they acquired and learned from the communities in which they were born and raised," he wrote. "Such people see themselves as fish taken away from the water."
Omar was arrested at his home on Wednesday for the alleged incident, which took place a day earlier at Hickman High School. Police responded to the school at 3 p.m. on Tuesday after receiving a child abuse call. Omar was at the school and noticed that a 14-year-old member of his family was not wearing the traditional head scarf and that he became very irate and pulled her "very violently by the hair," Columbia Police Officer Latisha Stroer told the Columbia Daily Tribune. He then allegedly dragged her down a flight of stairs and threw her into his car outside before slapping her. Omar was arrested the next day for suspicion of felony child abuse but was released from jail on a bail bond for $4,500.
A native of Benghazi, Libya, Omar, was an adjunct instructor at Mizzou at their Department of German and Russian Studies, as well as a research assistant.
Omar has not been at Mizzou since July 14, according to school officials who spoke to FoxNews.com. When asked if Omar was not working there due to any sort of disciplinary action, a spokesman declined to comment, referring to a policy in which they do not discuss such matters in the public forum.
On Omar's Rate My Professor page one former student posted a comment about his quick temper.
"He is extremely strict and doesn't speak English very well," reads the anonymous posting. "He will yell at students in class and won't do a good job of communicating assignments or answering questions. It is hard to judge what type of mood he is in on any given day because that will most likely determine the type of grade you will receive in the class."
Omar did not immediately return requests for comment.Note: Articles listed under "Middle East studies 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.
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