Middle East studies in the News
Student Reinstated After Suspension Over Clash With Muslim Professor [on Areej Zufari]
by Felix N. Codilla III
The Florida student who was suspended last week for challenging his liberal Muslim professor's anti-Christian assertions has been reinstated at the school. The disciplinary committee of Rollins College lifted its suspension on 20-year-old Marshall Polston, a sophomore international affairs major.
Polston's suspension stemmed from his clash with Areej Zufari, a professor of Middle Eastern humanities, over her assertion that Christ's crucifixion was a hoax and that His disciples did not believe He was God. The student expressed his disagreement and was reported for his disruptive behavior in class.
Polston said he has traveled to the Middle East, lectured at the Salahaddin University and immersed himself in Muslim culture for many years and his professor reminded him of some of the radical groups he researched abroad. He added that even those who have limited knowledge of Christianity will agree that Christ was crucified and that His followers believed He was divine.
School officials intervened and everything went back to normal. But things escalated again when Zufari claimed to have received a long, threatening email for giving Polston a 52 percent on his first essay.
"I made absolutely no threats," the student told Orlando Sentinel.
Polston highlighted his teacher's bias when in one lecture about Sharia Law, a Muslim student made a shocking statement.
"He stated that a good punishment for gays, adulterers, and thieves was the removal of a certain body part, as determined by Sharia law," he told Daily Mail.
"I spoke out to the professor about the grade and subsequently the decapitation comments made by the student," Polston went on. He added that the statement by the conservative Muslim student caused one of the students to report it to the FBI. He, in turn, was reported by the professor to the dean of campus safety.
On March 24, Polston received his suspension ordering him not to set foot on campus or go near the teacher. On March 30, Zufari filed a police report based on a student's claim that Polston was seen staring at her class in violation of his suspension. The allegation was never proven.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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