This is a ridiculous story out of another liberal college, this time in central Florida.
It all began when conservative Christian student Marshall Polston heard his “Muslim Humanities” teacher at Rollins College, Professor Areeje Zufari, claim that the crucifixion of Jesus was a hoax and that Jesus’ followers did not believe that he was God. Polston was taken aback because the professor’s opinions on the crucifixion were out of place, and his comments on Jesus’ followers run contrary to what is taught in the New Testament (which is the definitive writing on the subject).
“It was very off-putting and flat out odd. I’ve traveled the Middle East, lectured at the Salahaddin University, and immersed myself in Muslim culture for many years. Honestly, it reminded me of some of the more radical groups I researched when abroad,” Polston told the Central Florida Post. Polston challenged his teacher, he was then failed on a major essay which Polston says the teacher refused to give a rationale for. “I was upset, understandably. I’ve never gotten anything less than straight A’s, so I was really interested in figuring out how to possibly improve or at least understand the grade.” The professor then reported Polston to the “Dean of Safety” and cancelled classes because she felt threatened by Polston. When she finally resumed classes she moved on to the topic of Shariah, which is when one of Polston’s fellow students, a Muslim male, argued for a strict adherence to Shariah. “He stated that a good punishment for gays, adulterers, and thieves was the removal of a certain body part, as determined by Sharia law. It took a few seconds for me to realize that he actually said that, especially after what this community has faced with the tragic loss of life at Pulse,” Polston recounted incredulously. The teacher playfully chastised the student by putting him in “time out,” but refused to report the incident to campus authorities, even though several student asked her to. One student, not Polston, even reported the incident to the FBI.
Soon Polston was summoned to the Dean of Safety’s office where he was informed that he would likely be suspended.
“They made it clear that they had not gotten a report about what the student said, and were more concerned about the danger I was causing to the campus. What danger? A difference of opinion in a college classroom is nothing out of the ordinary and certainly not dangerous. It was surreal and degrading. The bad grade was upsetting, but they were literally refusing to acknowledge the dangers posed by someone who advocated chopping off body parts on campus.”
Neither the school nor the professor have replied to the Central Florida Post requests for a comment and Polston has indeed been suspended.
While Zufari refused to talk about the incident with the media she was quick to speak with the ACLU about it.
Zufari took the situation much further by posting on the ACLU Florida Facebook page:
“An unnamed student is making my life hell this semester. This one is spewing hatred at me, derailing class, and just sent me a hateful email threatening me…I want to know if there is a way to hold the individual responsible for his harassment and hate speech. Any ideas? Thank you!”
And… it’s not all over for Polston who has now also been accused of violating the order to stay away from class and harassing his teacher! Professor Zufari actually filed a police report with local authorities claiming Polston had harassed her, the only problem? Polston has physical evidence and eyewitness testimony that prove he was no where near her at the time the reported harassment took place.
This appears impossible however, as Polston confirms to us that he was with his elderly grandfather and traveling to Daytona Beach for the opening of Embry Riddle College’s MicaPlex during the hours the class was held.
He has even provided a receipt from a restaurant in Orlando’s Dr. Phillips area, and stills of video surveillance showing him purchasing food during the time of the class as well.
“I will be releasing witness statements shortly proving I could not have been where Professor Zufari said I was Thursday night. It’s shameful that she lied to the police.”
It seems this time, Zufari took her persecution of the student too far and he has proof that she filed a false police report which hopefully means that Polston will be responding with legal action of his own.
Sadly, this isn’t the first time that Rollins College has conspired to persecute their Christian community, as Red State points out:
In 2013, the Orlando Sentinel reported that “college officials kicked a Christian group off of campus for their conservative beliefs and threatened to pull funding from Christian student groups that would not allow non-Christian students to be in the club’s leadership.”
Later that year, Fox News reported that students were told that they could not hold private Bible studies in their dorm rooms.