The president of Lincoln University in Pennsylvania says he cannot fire a tenured professor who has questioned the Holocaust and expressed virulent anti-Israel views because the teacher has kept his opinions out of the classroom.
A Thursday statement from Ivory Nelson, president of the state-supported university, says Professor Kaukab Siddique's beliefs may be "insidious" but he can express them "as long as he does not present such opinions as the views of the university."
Siddique has questioned the Holocaust and called for the destruction of Israel in forums including a September rally in Washington, DC, and an online magazine he edits called New Trend.
Speaking at the recent Labor Day rally, Siddique said: "We must stand united to defeat, to destroy, to dismantle Israel – if possible by peaceful means... For the Jews, I would say, 'See what could happen to you if the Muslims wake up.' And I say to the Muslims, Dear brothers and sisters – unite and rise up against this hydra-headed monster which calls itself Zionism.'"
Vocal critic of Israel
Originally from Pakistan, Siddique, 67, is a vocal critic of what he calls "Israel's record of human-rights abuses in the Palestinian territories." Nevertheless, he maintains that his Labor Day statements have been misunderstood.
The professor's remarks sparked outrage among pro-Israeli groups and as Lincoln University is a Pennsylvania State-sponsored school, State Senator Daylin Leach – and numerous other members of the State Assembly – have urged Lincoln president Ivory Nelson to ensure the professor's "anti-Semitic diatribes" had not made their way into the university's classrooms.
Siddique is a tenured professor in English and mass communications. He did not respond to messages from The Associated Press seeking comment.
- Follow Ynetnews on Facebook