Middle East studies in the News
Muslim Professor Forced To Resign For Controversial Comments [on Areej Zufari]
A controversial Muslim professor in Florida has resigned from her position.
In March, Areej Zufari, a humanities professor at Rollins College was confronted by one of her students after she said the crucifixion of Jesus Christ was a "hoax" and that Christ's disciples did not believe he was God.
Sophomore Marshall Polston, 20, said that, as a Christian, the remarks were "unsettling."
"It was very off-putting and flat out odd. I've traveled the Middle East, lectured at the Salahaddin University, and immersed myself in Muslim culture for many years," Polston told the Central Florida Post. "Honestly, it reminded me of some of the more radical groups I researched when abroad."
Polston was reportedly asked to leave campus after Zufari filed a complaint claiming he made her feel "unsafe."
The dispute between student and professor was not just about Zufari's "anti-Christian" remarks.
After receiving a grade of 52 on an essay, Polston sent Zufari an email, Polston told College Fix.
In the email, Polston accused her of having a double standard.
"On the one hand you report me to the dean for correcting you while you were indoctrinating students with false information. On the other hand a Muslim student in class cracks a joke about chopping someone's body parts off and you do nothing," the email read.
Polston also accused Zufari of trying to silence him in class, adding, "I may have to speak up in regards to your extreme bias and not necessarily to the class but to the dean."
In a statement to the Orlando Sentinel, president of Rollins College Grant Cornwell said the "hateful threats and emails and phone messages" were the reason Zufari resigned.
"I think it's a terrible injustice, but I do respect her decision," Cornwell added.
The college president also said that Polston was suspended because of his "vulgar" and "mean-spirited" Facebook comments, insisting a student would "never ever ever" be suspended for disagreeing with a professor.
Polston's attorney disagreed, saying the classroom dispute was precisely why he was suspended. Polston has since been reinstated at the college.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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