“The college was of accused of prematurely criticizing political science professor Professor Nicholas Damask for including three quiz questions about Islamic extremism on a quiz.”
This is a win for academic freedom and free speech. Schools should feel the pain when a professor is unfairly smeared.
Campus Reform reports:
REPORT: Community college to pay six figure settlement to prof whose test question offended a Muslim student
Scottsdale Community College will pay $150,000 to settle a lawsuit from a professor accused of anti-Muslim bias.
The college was of accused of prematurely criticizing political science professor Professor Nicholas Damask for including three quiz questions about Islamic extremism on a quiz. One asked, “Where is terrorism encouraged in Islamic doctrine and law?”
The correct answer was “the Medina verses” in the Qur’an.
Student Mohamed Sabra, who is Muslim, complained, alleging that Damask’s exam forced him to “either disavow his religion or be punished by getting the answers wrong on the quiz,” according to a lawsuit filed by the Council on American-Islamic Relations against Scottsdale Community College and Damask last June, according to AZ Central.
The case was dismissed two months later by Judge Susan Brnovich, who ruled that Sabra was not asked to disavow his religion, but was “exposed to ‘attitudes and outlooks at odds’ with his own religious perspective.’”
But news of the episode had already sparked a wildfire of criticism of Scottsdale Community College on social media, prompting it to denounce Damask on May 1, 2020, and pressure him into signing an apology letter, according to the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education.
School officials reversed their position after the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education sent a letter to Scottsdale Community College and the Maricopa County Community College District Interim Chancellor Steven Gonzales apologized “for the uneven manner in which this was handled and for our lack of full consideration for our professor’s right of academic freedom,” according to AZ Central.
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