Middle East studies in the News
Rollins College Professor Involved in Christian Student's Suspension Has Islamic Extremist Links [on Areej Zufari]
by Lorraine Caballero
A Muslim professor at Rollins College who was involved in the suspension of a Christian student who challenged her statement about Jesus' resurrection reportedly has several links with radical Islamic groups and individuals, the FBI has found while investigating her ex-lover.
Prof. Areej Zufari first made headlines when Rollins College sophomore Marshall Polston complained that he had been wrongfully suspended for sending an email challenging the professor's claims that Christ's resurrection did not happen. The student also reportedly ended up in a disciplinary hearing after the same professor accused him of violating the suspension by entering the campus.
After Central Florida Post ran a story on Polston's suspension and insisted that the student did not deserve the punishment, the college conducted a thorough investigation into the issue. Rollins College later decided that Polston did not do anything wrong and has since been reinstated.
Recently, Front Page Magazine said new details about Prof. Zufari's links to Islamic extremists had emerged through an FBI probe into her ex-lover. Based on her 2012 book titled "Beyond the Headlines" and press releases from the Islamic Society of Central Florida, Zufari was the organization's spokesperson and Director of Communications from 2001 to 2004.
It is worth noting that the North American Islamic Trust, which owns ISCF's main mosque Masjid al-Rahman, was a member of the Muslim Brotherhood. The latter had aimed to raise funds for Hamas and propagate a militant Islamist message through a network of organizations established in the U.S. NAIT has also been labeled as an un-indicted co-conspirator in the Holy Land Foundation terrorism financing case in 2008.
According to security policy expert Alex Alexiev, some of the radical mosques and Islamic institutions under NAIT had been shut down by the government. ISCF has also reportedly been known for conducting fundraising activities for terrorism.
In addition, an affidavit by counter-terrorism expert Joe Kaufman included proof that Zufari had an affair with married Syrian-born endocrinologist Maher Ghawji. During a divorce case which ran from 2004 to 2007, his wife Rosine Ghawji had exposed him as a donor to radical Islamic activities. He had also confessed to giving money to his brother, who in turn joined an organization that has ties with terrorists.
When asked if it would investigate Zufari's alleged ties with Islamic extremists, Rollins College refused to answer. Instead, spokeswoman Jo Marie Hebeler issued a statement saying the institution respects the privacy of the individuals involved in the incident.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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