The University of Connecticut says a Muslim professor retired after students complained that he required them to remove their shoes and say “Bismillah” before entering his office.
Bismillah is an Arabic phrase meaning “in the name of Allah.”
Felix Coe, a professor of biology, had posted signs on the door to his office directing students to “REMOVE SHOES BEFORE ENTERING” and “KNOCK FIRST, THEN REQUEST ENTRY Say: Bismillah,” as depicted in a video released Tuesday by Jihad Watch.
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The footage in the video was originally taken in December 2017, and also contains an audio clip, from an unspecified date, of Coe interacting with a student who saw that his door was open and was trying to ask about where another professor was.
“Get the hell out of here. I don’t want to see you,” Coe told the unidentified student after she asked him why she needed to remove her shoes to enter his office.
“I am a Muslim,” Coe explains to the student. “You don’t come into my office with dirty shoes; that’s a curse.”
The rest of the video contains footage from December of two men approaching Coe in his office.
“I want to know why these [signs] are necessary,” one of the men asks Coe. “Why would a student have to take their shoes off? Why would a student have to say [Bismillah]?”
“Because I am a Muslim and I don’t want them coming in my office with dirty shoes,” Coe stated.
“But this is your office, this is not a prayer [place],” the man tells Coe. “We have a separate place for a prayer.”
“If a Christian put in here ‘In Jesus’ name’…would this happen?” the man continues.
“UConn promptly resolved the issue in a manner that respects the rights of all involved, and affirms the University’s values of civility and inclusivity,” a UConn spokesperson told Campus Reform.
“Regarding this instance, the sign that had directed guests to precede their conversations with a specific Arabic phrase was immediately removed at the University’s direction,” the spokesperson stated.
“That particular faculty member has retired in the time since this video was taken last year,” the spokesperson added.
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First published at Campus Reform
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