Michael Abdelmessih was hired to teach at Manchester Community College in Manchester, Connecticut. But when he started to teach about jihad, he found himself out of a job. Here is his statement (thanks to Jerry Gordon):
My name is Michael Abdelmessih. I am a Coptic Christian. I have an MS in Political Science from Southern Connecticut State University on 1/19/2004. My research was entitled: “The History and Rise of Militant Islamic Fundamentalism.”
I was hired by Manchester Community College to teach a course entitled “Understanding Militant Islamic Fundamentalism.” In total, six students signed up for the class — of which two are faculty of Manchester community college, both Muslim. One of the faculty member name is Fatima. She is from Egypt she teaches economics in the ommunity college. The other one name is Dianna.
Two months ago, both faculty members asked Ann Bonney, the director of non credit courses, to change the title of the course. Ann Bonney explained the situation to me, and we agreed to make some changes in the proposal. I have the original proposal with the changes made by Ann Bonney as my evidence.
I started teaching the course on April 9, 2005. The course was from 10:00 A.M, to 12:30 P.M. Then my academic supervisor contacted me last week before I started the course and told me she would send police for protection. Also, she changed the room assignment, and instructed me on how to call the police if I had any problems from the Muslim community or from the both Muslim faculty members.
I gave the students at the first meeting of the class a summary of some books (Exporting the American Gospel, Jewish Fundamentalism, History of Islam, Battle for God), some websites (on The history of Judaism and Christianity, as well as Islam.com), and some articles from the internet (on psychological fundamentalism, and others). We had a few discussions in general about general “fundamentalism.” When I started talking about jihad, I was constantly interrupted because the two faculty members, Fatima and Dianna, claimed that Jihad doesn’t mean attacking non-Muslims, but means “protecting Islam.” Then in the middle of the class I received threats from Fatima, the Egyptian faculty member and student. She made it clear she would “contact the Egyptian government” and she said: “Believe me, you not will continue this course.”
The class was over. I went on a trip to Washington, D.C. While eating dinner last night, April 15th, I got a call from Ann Bonney of Manchester Community College. I was told that I no longer will teach the course because of “a few grammatical errors in the notes” I handed to students. On the other hand, my academic supervisor told me the college will pay me for the course, but I won’t teach the course.
More on this as it becomes available.