Tzvi Kahn writes in The American Thinker:
According to the logic of a recent report issued by the American Association of University Professors (AAUP), denying accused criminals a job constitutes an unethical breach of “academic freedom.” So, if Osama bin Laden and Saddam Hussein had doctorates and respectable publication records, could they receive teaching positions at an American university? More to the point, what about Mohammed Yousry, an adjunct lecturer in Middle East studies at York College of the City University of New York (CUNY), a person accused of providing material support to a terrorist organization?
After all, in America’s criminal justice system, alleged offenders are innocent until proven guilty in a court of law — and bin Laden and Hussein have yet to receive fair and open trials. Until then, if their academic records were otherwise sterling, a university may not penalize professors on grounds ostensibly unrelated to their scholarship or teaching. Such grounds, according to the reasoning of the AAUP report, include alleged support of a terrorist organization aiming to slaughter the very students the professor teaches.
The AAUP issued its report following Yousry”s federal indictment in April 2002. He served as the translator for attorney Lynne Stewart and her former client Sheik Omar Abdel Rahman, who was convicted in October 1995 of masterminding the attack on the World Trade Center in 1993 and of plotting to bomb other New York City landmarks, including the United Nations, New York’s FBI building, and the Lincoln and Holland tunnels.
Presently serving a sentence of life imprisonment, Abdel Rahman was the leader of the Islamic Group (IG), or al-Gama”a al-Islamiyya, a terrorist organization based in Egypt seeking to destroy Israel and America and to overthrow the Egyptian government and replace it with a more Islamic state. According to federal prosecutors, Abdel Rahman once released a statement from prison, in reference to America, calling upon “Muslims everywhere” to “dismember their nation, tear them apart, ruin their economy, provoke their corporations, destroy their embassies, attack their interests, sink their ships, and shoot down their planes, kill them on land, at sea, and in the air.” On November 17, 1997, six terrorists affiliated with the IG murdered fifty-eight tourists in Luxor, Egypt, hoping to pressure the American government to release Abdel Rahman.
In 2002 Yousry and Stewart were charged with knowingly transmitting violent statements of Abdel Rahman to his followers worldwide. In so doing, they violated Special Administrative Measures (SAM) instituted by the Bureau of Prisons that limited Abdel Rahman’s access to the media in order to prevent him from addressing his terrorist followers. But in September 1999, with the help of Yousry and Stewart, Abdel Rahman issued a statement from prison ordering the IG to end its previously declared cease-fire against the Egyptian government after Egyptian officials conducted a raid in Cairo that resulted in the deaths of four IG members.
Yousry and Stewart were convicted in February 2005 on all counts, including conspiracy, defrauding the government, and providing material support to a terrorist organization. They are presently free on bail pending their sentencing in July.
What, then, raised the ire of the AAUP? When news of the indictment became known, CUNY administrators responded by suspending Yousry with pay for the duration of the spring 2002 term. CUNY then effectively fired him by declining to reappoint him to teach as an adjunct in subsequent semesters.
According to the AAUP report, entitled “Academic Freedom and Tenure: City University of New York,” in terminating Yousry, CUNY administrators violated a host of procedures regarding due process, faculty peer review, and open communication that govern the appointment of adjunct instructors in academia, an allegation the university denied. Such charges are common in academic life and are not especially notable. What makes the AAUP report remarkable, however, is the extent to which it also defines “academic freedom” to include the right of professors to retain their positions even as they are being investigated for supporting terrorism. “Adequate cause for a dismissal,” says the report, “will be related, directly and substantially, to the fitness of faculty members in their professional capacities as teachers or researchers” — not, evidently, as human beings who do not support bloodthirsty killers. The AAUP then went on to reject “the theory of teacher-as-role-model” as having “scant purpose” in university life…
Read it all.