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San Francisco State U. Investigating Prof for Showing Image of Muhammad in Class

San Francisco State U. Investigating Prof for Showing Image of Muhammad in Class

“Unfortunately, ‌SFSU administrators haven’t learned anything from Hamline’s mistakes.”

The president of Hamline University just announced her retirement for not defending a professor in this exact same situation.

From the FIRE blog:

Déjà vu: San Francisco State University threatens academic freedom, investigates professor for showing Prophet Muhammad image in history class

San Francisco State University is investigating history professor Maziar Behrooz for showing a drawing of the Prophet Muhammad while teaching a lesson on the history of the Islamic world last fall. A student reportedly “strongly objected” and filed a complaint with the university.

This investigation comes just months after Minnesota’s Hamline University faced a firestorm for not renewing the contract of instructor Erika Lòpez-Prater because she displayed medieval artwork depicting the Prophet Muhammad in her art history course.

Unfortunately, ‌SFSU administrators haven’t learned anything from Hamline’s mistakes. Just like with Hamline, SFSU is violating a professor’s academic freedom rights because some took offense to pedagogically relevant course content.

FIRE wrote SFSU today urging the university to end its investigation and reaffirm that it will protect faculty academic freedom rights.

As a public institution, SFSU is bound by the First Amendment to respect faculty’s academic freedom rights. This includes the right to teach material relevant to their classes without facing sanction.

Here, Behrooz displayed a historical image depicting the Islamic prophet in a class session on the history of the Islamic world between 500 and 1700. Behrooz even reportedly explained to administrators that the type of drawing he showed can be bought at markets near holy shrines in Tehran, where Behrooz was born. But after a student complained in the fall, the institution chose to launch an investigation in March — months later.


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henrybowman | April 8, 2023 at 1:52 pm

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Ranchgoddess | April 8, 2023 at 3:06 pm

I just saw “Tucker Carlson Today” with this very brave professor and am just so happy there is this website. I’m no longer going to feel alone. I feel what we tolerate will get worse. It’s up to us to speak out. I feel if people in Germany would have spoke out in the beginning things would not have ended the way it did…. It’s up to us, up to you.

This is so ridiculous. Images of Muhammad can be found easily today in illustrated copies of Dante’s Inferno (Canto 28), and a relief sculpture of Muhammad is inside our Supreme Court Building!

On the web there are numerous sites called “Mohammed Image Archive”. And there’s even a site to show you how to paint Muhammad:

Muslims know this and any attempt to stifle art history professors about such images is pure, inexcusable power-gaming that should be ignored. Islam doesn’t rule here.