PHILADELPHIA, August 17, 2015 – State Sen. Anthony Hardy Williams today called on the administration of Lincoln University to discipline a rogue professor whose anti-gay, victim-shaming, and terrorist-defending social media posts have drawn international scorn to the university.
In a letter to Lincoln Interim President Dr. Richard Green, Williams said Professor Kaukab Siddique “continues to cross the boundaries, adding no value to the popular conversation on race, rape culture or LGBT rights” and, most shockingly, for defending ISIS against charges of terrorism by dismissing reports of rape and ethnic cleansing as “propaganda.” Siddique‘s 2010 statements denying the holocaust led to similar protest but were deemed protected by academic freedom.
Williams urged the university to conduct an inquiry to determine whether Siddique has violated the university’s professional conduct code. He pointed to Siddique’s repeated denial of historical facts as evidence of his professional incompetence, which could be grounds for his removal.
“Is it not professionally incompetent to deny historical fact, or to voice support for wholesale discrimination against large swaths of people? His words, broadcast widely, have created a hostile environment for all Lincoln University students, particularly during a time in which an increase in sexual assault cases coupled with recent media reports exhibiting persistent racial harassment on college campuses have led to a national demand for universities to address student safety and intolerance,” he wrote.
“It is my firm belief that Dr. Siddique has failed to maintain these standards, in that the publicity generated from his online discourse may cause a negative financial impact on Lincoln due to decreased enrollment and that students under his supervision may be discriminated against, or perceive they have been discriminated against, due to their gender, religion or sexual identity,” Williams wrote.
Lincoln University is the first degree-granting historically black university in the United States and boasts former Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall among its graduates.
“This historic distinction of defending the rights of society’s most vulnerable and unfairly maligned groups is at the core of Lincoln’s mission, making Siddique’s comments all the more harmful,” said Williams in a separate statement. “Do we really want someone who rushes to the defense of terrorists or refers to rape victims and LGBT individuals in a derogatory manner shaping the minds of our best and brightest students?”
“Academic freedom is certainly important, but so is academic integrity, Williams’ letter concluded. “ Allowing a member of your faculty to continue spreading hateful, vile lies in the public arena is irresponsible; to protect him from any form of discipline for such actions is unconscionable.”
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Contact: J.P. Kurish, JKurish@PASenate.com