PHOENIX – A Scottsdale Community College student has bypassed the normal complaint process and filed a lawsuit with the help of the controversial advocacy group, CAIR, against Professor Nicholas Damask. The lawsuit was filed on Tuesday in U.S. District Court.
Mohamed Sabra, a political science major at Scottsdale Community College, claims that he was “punished” for “refusing to agree” with Damask.
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Damask has called the lawsuit frivolous but is not afraid to fight for his academic freedom.
“The College has protocols if a student has a complaint,” said District Governing Board member Kathleen Winn speaking for herself. “This student didn’t file a formal complaint. Professor Damask’s academic freedom is protected. I hope CAIR is not using this student to forward their agenda without regard for the student’s interests, freedom of speech, and academic freedom.”
“This lawsuit falls right in line with the un-Islamic bullying, threats, and intimidation tactics CAIR-AZ fueled globally against SCC and Dr. Damask by gang-like ‘comedians’ and the initial social media posting by their plaintiff. Any honest American knows that a political class on terrorism is not a comprehensive theology class and will have to simply cover the Islamist motivation of the militants. It is only those with a lot to hide who would absurdly take such curricula as an indictment of most peaceful Muslims,” stated Dr. M. Zuhdi Jasser, President of the American Islamic Forum for Democracy and author of “A Battle for the Soul of Islam.”
“Sadly, for “ambulance chasers” fueled by Islamist tactics, it’s about striking fear in the hearts of those who dare even mention Islamism and its militants,” continued Dr. Jasser, who first broke the news of the attack on Dr. Damask’s academic freedom. “Lawfare and intimidation like this, actually ends up doing honest Muslims a gross disservice, making it appear that we have no rationality, no tolerance, in even being able to make a distinction between the Islam and jihad of the militants and our own peaceful Islam.”
Sabra had posted three quiz questions from a world politics class to social media. The questions landed on the Instagram page of an influential Muslim man, who has about 125,000 followers. The influencer, referred to as possibly a comedian, made a video about the questions, which set off the avalanche of hateful posts on the college’s Instagram account.
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In a knee-jerk response, Interim College President Chris Haines posted on the College’s Instagram page on May 1 that the College agreed with Sabra that the quiz questions were “inaccurate, inappropriate and not reflective of the inclusive nature” of Scottsdale Community College.
Damask held his ground and refused to apologize for the questions despite pressure from Haines.
“I was explaining to the students that this were the justifications that they were using for terrorist acts,” Damask said. “Al Qaeda would say where they get their example from. They would point to Mohammed and point to certain verses from the Quran. To relay this information to students shouldn’t be controversial at all,” he told the ADI.
One of the founding board members of CAIR’s Dallas office, Ghassan Elashi, was linked to the Holy Land Foundation (HLF), a Texas-based charity that, according to the U.S. government, became the chief fundraising arm for the Palestine Committee in the U.S. The Palestine Committee was created by Hamas’s parent organization, the Muslim Brotherhood, to support Hamas. Both HLF and CAIR were members of the Palestine Committee. – Anti-Defamation League
While Damask’s questions might not be considered controversial, CAIR is considered to be very controversial as noted by Dr. Jasser. According to the Anti-Defamation League, in addition to having ties to terrorists organizations, “over the years many in CAIR’s (Council on American-Islamic Relations) leadership have expressed, and in a number of cases continue to express, anti-Zionist rhetoric. This has included statements that demonize American supporters of Israel who believe that a connection with Israel is an essential part of their Jewish identity.”