A professor at Israel’s Bar-Ilan University has landed himself in some trouble for kicking a female Muslim student out to his class after she refused to remove her hijab.
The professor was forced to apologize to his class and the student in question, and faces additional disciplinary action, including a special committee that will determine his future as a member of the faculty.
A public statement released by the university harshly condemned the professor:
“Bar-Ilan University unequivocally condemns the offensive and intolerable incident that occurred late last week. We view this as an act against all of us – against our academic institution, our students and our faculty. This university prides itself on the fact that it enables each and every student to enjoy his studies in an atmosphere of equality and respect. This is, and will continue to be, our hallmark.”
University President Arie Zaban issued a separate condemnation:
“I am appalled by this lecturer’s humiliating and intolerable behavior. This type of ugly behavior is unacceptable anywhere, and certainly has no place at Bar-Ilan University.”
It was interesting to many that while in overtly liberal societies like France the hijab has been banned (or is can legally be forbidden) in public schools and universities, doing so in Israel is a punishable offense.
The student herself poured cold water on any hopes of exploiting the incident to further smear Israel as an “apartheid” state. Her response to the professor’s apology read:
“I was deeply shocked and offended by my professor’s actions, but this is not a reflection of the day-to-day atmosphere on campus. Bar-Ilan respects my religion and culture, and makes special concessions for me so that I can observe Muslim holidays and Ramadan. I enjoy good relations with students and faculty here, and I believe that all universities can look up to Bar-Ilan as an example of bringing diverse populations together under one roof.”