Middle East studies in the News
Rollins College Lifts Suspension of Christian Student Who Challenged Muslim Professor
by Jardine Malado
Rollins College has lifted the suspension of the Christian student who challenged his Muslim professor's claims about Christianity.
Marshall Polston, a 21-year-old sophomore student, was suspended from Rollins College last week after he objected to the assertions of his professor, Areef Zufari, who claimed that Jesus' crucifixion never happened and his disciples did not believe that he was God.
In another class discussion, Polston claimed that one Muslim student suggested that gays and adulterers should be beheaded under Sharia law. Polston said that he was reported to the dean of campus safety after he spoke to Zufari about the student's decapitation comments.
Following his suspension, Zufari filed a police report against Polston, claiming he showed up outside of class even after he was suspended and told to keep away from the professor. The student disproved her allegations by producing a receipt and surveillance photo that showed him inside a restaurant over a half-hour away from the school during class.
A letter from Rollins College, published by the Central Florida Post, indicated that Polston was found "not responsible" for the charges pertaining to his behavior.
"Community Standards and Responsibility has found that you have not crossed the threshold of violating our Code of Community Standards," Maeghan Rempala, Rollins's director of community standards and responsibility, stated in the letter.
"However, your behavior has not always been consistent with the values we abide by at the College. The evidence presented did show you have been aggressive, disrespectful, and at times, vulgar in multiple verbal and electronic communications with faculty, staff and students," the letter continued.
Rempala went on to tell Polston to "reflect on how best to express your opinions and treat others in a respectful manner."
Polston's attorney, Kenneth Lewis, thanked Rempala for conducting the investigation, The Daily Caller reported. However, he noted that Polston's character had been damaged due to Zufari's allegations and asserted that the professor needs to be investigated more than the student.
"We are calling on Rollins College to make a full inquiry as to Zufari's fitness to continue on at Rollins in any capacity," Lewis said.
Rollins College caused controversy in 2013 after it expelled InterVarsity Christian Fellowship for not allowing non-Christian students to hold leadership positions. That same year, it also banned students from conducting Bible studies in the common areas of its dormitories.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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