Middle East studies in the News
School Suspends Christian Student who Challenged Muslim Prof who said Jesus' Crucifixion is a Hoax [on Areeje Zufari]
by Chris Enloe
School administrators at a small Florida college suspended a Christian student last week after he confronted a Muslim professor who told students that the crucifixion of Jesus Christ was a hoax and that Jesus' disciples didn't believe that he was God.
Marshall Polston, a 20-year-old sophomore at Rollins College, alleges that he recently confronted his Muslim humanities professor, Areeje Zufari, for her outlandish claims, which aren't supported by factual history.
"It was very off-putting and flat out odd," he told the Central Florida Post, adding that he's traveled the world and studied in Muslim countries. "Honestly, it reminded me of some of the more radical groups I researched when abroad."
But after he confronted Zufari, Polston said she gave him a failing grade on a major essay — a 52 — and refused to explain the poor grade.
"I was upset, understandably," Polston told the Post. "I've never gotten anything less than straight A's, so I was really interested in figuring out how to possibly improve or at least understand the grade."
During a separate discussion in class, this time on the application of Sharia law, Polston told the College Fix that a male Muslim student made chilling comments, including that gay people and adulterers should be beheaded in accordance with Muslim law.
"I spoke out to the professor about ... the decapitation comments made by the student," Polston told the Fix. "The statement by the conservative Muslim student met such fear by some that one of the students reported it to the FBI.
"The situation was surreal. We've already had one too many attacks in Orlando and as an avid traveler, I realized this was the perfect example of 'see something, say something,' " he explained.
After that, Polston said Zufari reported him to the school's "dean of safety" and canceled class claiming Polston made her feel "unsafe." He was subsequently called to the dean's office to discuss his actions, which Polston said the dean claimed were making campus "unsafe."
"They made it clear that they had not gotten a report about what the student said, and were more concerned about the danger I was causing to the campus. What danger? A difference of opinion in a college classroom is nothing out of the ordinary and certainly not dangerous," Polston told the Post. "The bad grade was upsetting, but they were literally refusing to acknowledge the dangers posed by someone who advocated chopping off body parts on campus."
In a letter obtained by the Post, Rollins College wrote to Polston on March 24 informing him that he was suspended from school. The college alleged that Polston is a "threat of disruption" and is "jeopardizing the safety and well-being" of the college, other students and himself.
The letter doesn't state exactly what Polston did to become a security concern or which student rules he broke. However, the letter explicitly prohibits Polston from stepping foot on campus during the suspension, contacting Zufari and talking to other students about the situation.
Zufari claims that Polston appeared outside her classroom last Thursday. She has since filed a police report with the Winter Park Police Department claiming that Polston violated the no-contact order and is harassing her.
However, Polston provided the Post with surveillance footage and a receipt to prove that he wasn't near the school at the time Zufari claims.
TheBlaze reached out to the director of public affairs at Rollins College for comment and has not heard back as of press time. The College Fix and the Post also said their requests were not returned by the school.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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