Middle East studies in the News
Suspended for Challenging Radical Islam [on Areeje Zufari]
by MEIRA SVIRSKY
A Christian student was suspended from his Florida university after he challenged the views of his Muslim humanities professor and those of a radical Muslim student, wrote investigative reporter Jacob Engels in the Central Florida Post.
The professor, Areeje Zufari, of Rollins College located just outside Orlando, has a history of accusations of radicalism enumerated in a law suit filed by an FBI source and from her role as a leader in the Islamic Society of Central Florida.
Twenty-year-old sophomore Marshall Polston's troubles began when Zufari began making disparaging statements about Christianity, claiming the religion's most basic beliefs were a hoax.
Zufari asserted that Jesus was not crucified and his followers did not believe he was God.
After Polton challenged Jufari during a class discussion on these assertions, Jufari failed him on a major essay and refused to explain the reason.
That prompted Jufari to report Polton to the college's "dean of safety" who cancelled class due to claims that Polton made Jufari feel "unsafe."
Jufari's next class centered around the topic of the application of sharia law.
During that discussion, Polston reports that a Muslim student "stated that a good punishment for gays, adulterers and thieves was the removal of a certain body part, as determined by sharia law. It took a few seconds for me to realize that he actually said that, especially after what this community has faced with the tragic loss of life at Pulse."
Polston says Jufari joked with the student and put him in a "time out," telling him to remain quiet for a few minutes. A number of students – Christian and Muslim –requested that Jufari report the incident, which she refused to do. One student ended up reporting the exchange to the FBI.
After the class, Polston was called into the dean of safety's office to discuss his suspension.
According to the suspension order, Polston was not allowed to be on campus or have any contact with Jufari. After the suspension, Polston decided to take his grandfather to Daytona Beach. Jufari, however, filed a police report that he had actually showed up to class to harass her. However, photos from security cameras show Polston at an Orlando restaurant at during the same time as Jufari's class.
Polston, hired an attorney and is scheduled to appear at the university today (March 28) for a hearing about his status as a student and will hold a news conference after the hearing.
Professor Jufari's History of Radicalism
In 2007, a lawsuit named Zufari as having an affair with and possibly being secretly married to radical Islamist Maher Ghawji .
The suit was filed based on information gathered over a number of years by Ghawji's wife, Rosine Ghawji, who starting working as a source for the FBI after she became alarmed at her husband's radicalism and virulent anti-Semitism.
Ghawji was tied to the Muslim Brotherhood and donated thousands of dollars to charities funneling money to al-Qaeda. Zufari was named in the lawsuit as an accomplice to Ghawji in indoctrinating Rosine's two young children with radical Islamist beliefs, among other activities. The two also made trips to Seattle, where court documents say they conducted "targeting and surveillance" of American interests.
In addition, the FBI found that Ghawji made contact with terrorist groups in the Middle East.
As a leader of in the Islamic Society of Central Florida, Zufari also led an effort to bring a radical anti-American and anti-Semitic imam to the U.S. for a three-day conference. Sheikh Abdur-Rahman Al-Sudais' entrance to the U.S. was opposed by anti-hate groups, citing his comments on Saudi TV in which he called for death to Americans and the annihilation of Jews.
Zufari argued at the time that it would be "un-American" for authorities to deny his entrance to the U.S.
Zufari also promoted an event at the Islamic Society which featured radical Islamist preacher Siraj Wahhaj, who was listed as a co-conspirator by the U.S. Attorney in the 1993 bombing of the World Trade Center.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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