Bar-Ilan lecturer removes student who refused to take off hijab
Lecturer at Bar-Ilan University's Middle Eastern Studies dept. asks student to remove hijab, expeling her from class when she refuses; students complain to university, which censures lecturer's conduct; lecturer apologizes to student in email, will apologize in front of student body.
A lecturer at Bar-Ilan University's Middle Eastern studies department demanded last week an Arab student take off her hijab, an Arab headdress covering the face, and then asked her to leave his class when she refused. The student complained and the professor apologized and will called in to the university's ethics committee.
The student contacted the university's adviser on Arab affairs immediately following the incident and complained at the treatment to which she was subjected. The lecturer was given a serious reprimand by the faculty dean and the university's rector.
Sources at Bar-Ilan said he understood the severity of his actions and emailed an apology to the student, in which he also informed her he intends to apologize again face-to-face in front of her fellow students in the course. He's also expected to face a disciplinary hearing in the coming days.
The student accepted the lecturer's apology, as per university sources.
"The lecturer's irregular and intolerable act completely contravenes the university's values. The senior lecturer admitting wrongdoing and personally apologized to the student. The university's management also apologized and seriously reprimanded the lecturer. In addition, the department's academic staff publically came out against the incident, saying it considers what he did harmful to the university and its values," a comment from Bar-Ilan University said.
"We unequivocally denounce the lecturer's deplorable and degrading conduct. We, the students of Bar-Ilan University, enjoy a life shared by Jews and gentiles alike, religious or secular. We regret incidents such as these mar our campus melting pot," the university's student union said.
The Coalition against Racism in Israel said, "We demand Bar-Ilan University remove the lecturer who allowed himself to harm the student's basic right to freedom of religion, and try to coerce her to remove her hijab. Academia cannot contain people who are not respectful of others and their rights, freedoms and faith."