Ph.d computer science professor fired for supporting palestinian cause and verbally attacking Israel
January 15, 2002 6:23 PM   Subscribe

Ph.d computer science professor fired for supporting palestinian cause and verbally attacking Israel That happened in Tampa,FL. You can find more details here and here and here(local newspaper) and his homepage here. Comments and more links regarding this guy welcome.
posted by elpapacito (7 comments total)
One additional Link : he's also the director of Islamic Academy of Florida, webpage here
posted by elpapacito at 6:32 PM on January 15, 2002

That is for sure an interesting school. They had an Arab faculty member similarly accused. He quit and then went and headed up one of the terrorist groups in the M.E. Also had a Jewish prof who retired or left to become president of the Moonie owned Univ. of Bridgeport
I am sympathetic with his fight to keep his job: he has tenure and he can go to court and the school would have to show why he was let go. But the acadeic community is by and large a bunch of wimps and will do little or nothing for him.
On the other hand, how tiresome to hear one more time that Israel has taken Palestinian land when in fact the UN divided the area into two potential states and the arabs not only turned down statehood but invaded the newly born Israel the same day! And two times after. If Israel occupies land taken in war, then let the PLO sit down and come to peace accord. No country at any time in history ever gave back land taken in war with either a strategic reason or some sort of accord with those with whom they were at war.
But I do support his rights and suspect the school catering to trustees and to local pressures.
Ps: there are also some 100 Israelis rounded up and still being held by the American govt.
posted by Postroad at 6:49 PM on January 15, 2002

``By persecuting Arab-Americans and Muslims, those who perpetrated the attacks have won,'' he said.
posted by mr_crash_davis at 7:15 PM on January 15, 2002

The Israeli government, not Palestinians, are the real terrorists in the Middle East, and U.S. policy unfairly persecutes Muslims, according to the brother-in-law of a man suspected of being linked to terrorists

From the lede of the MSNBC article. That's right, this man is not a Phd, not a professor, not an American, not a Palestinian, not an academic, not a computer science expert, but "the brother-in-law of a man suspected of being linked to terrorists"

Supporting Palestinian rights openly and against the US conventional wisdom (even though 'official' US policy is not that different from mainstream Palestinian ideas) is a sure way to get yourself fired, buried in hate-mail, or have your books hidden in bookstores or not reviewed. Just ask former Dep. US Sec. of State George Ball.
posted by chaz at 8:00 PM on January 15, 2002

As an american I'm ashamed

.... if there are grandmothers in egypt who would like nothing better than to blow themselves up along with the white house or pentagon.... i'm thinking there may actually be issues with our blind support for israeli policies - who can fault this fellow for speaking his mind... let alone the truth?..
posted by specialk420 at 8:58 PM on January 15, 2002

This happens everywhere, but without national press exposure. For example, I'm in Hollywood. The easiest way to make sure you never work in this town again is to express even the smallest sympathy for Palestinians or other Arabs. Even noticing that this takes place can get you labled as an anti-semite, and make sure that your life becomes a special little personal hell.

Luckily, I found this out from another student before I talked too openly about the Liberty or the military career of Ariel Sharon.
posted by phalkin at 10:48 PM on January 15, 2002

I believe Postroad is thinking of either Al-Arian himself or his colleague Shikaki whose brother headed up Islamic Jihad for a while, who has weathered charges of connections to terrorism through Palestinian-nationalist think tanks and charities over the years, but wasn't placed on leave by the USF until his appearance on the O'Reilly Factor, where the host challenged him on some of these connections (and others were brought up by callers). In any case this is not as cut and dried. There may not be sufficient evidence for criminal charges (he may not even have done anything), but the university may also be within its rights regarding his employment.

Oh, wait, reading the WSJ again it was the other guy, Shallah, who DID end up running I.J. Good catch, Postroad (but next time don't make me do your linking for ya!).
posted by dhartung at 11:51 PM on January 15, 2002

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