Terror-Linked CAIR Sues Arizona Community College for Teaching the Truth about Islam and Terrorism


For years, leftist and Muslim academics have ensured that all college and university courses about Islam and the Middle East were essentially vehicles for dawah, Islamic proselytizing, and that they covered up any connection between Islam and the jihad terrorist violence committed in its name and in accord with its teachings. H0wever, Nicholas Damask of Scottsdale Community College stepped off the reservation, and now Hamas-CAIR is determined to destroy him for it. And note how they’re doing it: telling the truth about Islam and jihad, about how terrorists justify their actions from Islamic texts and teachings, is “poisoning the minds of students.” Damask used the work of counterterror analyst Walid Phares, and so Hamas-CAIR invokes its previous smears of Phares to suggest that he is not a reliable authority, and only the deceptive Islamic apologists who lie about Islam are to be consulted.

This suit should be thrown out immediately on the grounds of academic freedom and the freedom of speech, in addition to the fact that everything Damask taught was accurate. But the left so dominates the courts these days that this suit may well succeed.

“Muslim student sues Scottsdale Community college and professor over Islam quiz questions,” by Lorraine Longhi, Arizona Republic, June 3, 2020:

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A local Islamic group filed a lawsuit Tuesday in U.S. District Court against Scottsdale Community College and one of its professors for teaching material that it says condemns Islam.

A student and the Arizona chapter of the Council for American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) filed the lawsuit, asking that SCC and professor Nicholas Damask stop teaching the materials in question until they “do not have the primary effect of disapproving of Islam.”

The lawsuit comes after the student, Mohamed Sabra, posted three quiz questions from a world politics class to social media last month, igniting a firestorm of online criticism that caused the college’s interim President Christina Haines to apologize for the “inaccurate” and “inappropriate” questions.

Haines also said Damask would apologize to the student and remove the questions from his curriculum. Damask pushed back, saying he had no intention of apologizing and that his academic freedom was being threatened.

The chancellor of Maricopa Community College District, of which SCC is a part, stepped in and said the questions posted on social media were taken out of context and fell within the scope of the course. Chancellor Steven Gonzales said he would launch a Committee on Academic Freedom and pursue an investigation into how the controversy was handled.

David Chami, an attorney representing CAIR, said the group filed the lawsuit to prevent Damask from “continuing to poison the minds of students.”

“We have enough hate in this country. We have enough divide,” he said. “We don’t need our professors inflaming those seeds of hatred in students.”

Damask told The Arizona Republic Wednesday that he had not yet been served the lawsuit and had no immediate comment.

A spokesman for the district said they had not been served the lawsuit and could not yet comment on the allegations.

Controversy sparked by quiz questions

Sabra was enrolled in Damask’s online world politics course, which featured lessons on Islamic terrorism.

According to the lawsuit, Damask repeatedly condemned Islam as a religion that definitively teaches terrorism.

In May, Sabra posted screenshots from the quiz to social media, where they were quickly shared through social media by several influencers and Muslim community members.

The quiz included statements such as “Contemporary terrorism is Islamic” and “Terrorism is justified within the context of Jihad in Islam.” The quiz also asserted that Islamic terrorists strive to emulate the Prophet Muhammed.

The lawsuit says that Sabra answered the questions based on how Muslims practice their religion, but the answers were marked as incorrect.

“Mr. Sabra was forced to make a decision; either disavow his religion or be punished by getting the answers wrong on the quiz,” the lawsuit says.

The district-commissioned investigation details an email exchange between the professor and the student about the quiz questions.

Damask attempted to explain that the goal of the quiz was to discuss the motivation of terrorists, not whether something is right or wrong under Islamic doctrine, according to the report.

“The course may outline these beliefs but that doesn’t make it acceptable to teach this misinformation to other student[s] who aren’t fully educated,” Sabra responded. “Please review the questions I’ve attached and get back to me ASAP.”

By the time Damask responded the next morning, the student had posted the questions on social media, prompting backlash to the school.

Misinterpreting Islam?

The lawsuit says that Damask asserted in his course that peaceful interpretations of Islam were false, quoting Damask’s course material as saying, “Contentions that Islam does not promote warfare or violence cannot be supported on either theological or historical grounds.”

Damask also presented several statistics that did not contain citations to academic material, according to the lawsuit. One of those statistics cited in the lawsuit compares killings by Islamic terrorists to slayings by groups like the Ku Klux Klan, saying, “Islamic terrorists kill on average more people every 90 days than the number of blacks killed by the Ku Klux Klan in its entire 120+ year history.”

Damask never included any discussion of the Ku Klux Klan, Nazis, militant fascism or neo-conservativism and their “scripture-based terrorism” against minorities in the United States, according to the lawsuit.

“It is an unquestionable fact that the Ku Klux Klan espoused Protestant Christian ideologies to wage terror in the United States in an attempt to create their own nation-state, and even believed that Jesus was the first Klansman,” the lawsuit read. “However, none of this material is discussed in any of Defendant Damask’s modules, despite its impact on national and international politics.”

CAIR said the course’s only reading material came from articles written by anti-Islam extremists, including an excerpt from the book “Future Jihad” by Walid Phares.

Phares has served as a commentator on terrorism for Fox News and as an adviser to Mitt Romney and Donald Trump during their presidential campaigns. Phares was a high-ranking official in a religious militia that was responsible for massacres during Lebanon’s 15-year civil war, according to an investigation by Mother Jones.

In 2012, the New York Times reported that Phares “regularly warns that Muslims aim to take over American institutions and impose Shariah, a legal code based mainly on the Koran that can involve punishments like cutting off the hands of a thief.”

In its lawsuit, CAIR calls Phares “a known Islamophobe who openly promotes anti-Muslim ideologies.”

“Don’t you think you should have disclosed that to your students or put a disclaimer?” Raees Mohamed,an attorney representing CAIR, said. “What we see is an utter lack of true academic discussion.”…

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