Hassan Diab a former university professor and accused terrorist in the 1980 bombing of a Paris synagogue which left four people dead and scores injured, is being supported by his colleagues in their call for the reinstatement of his teaching position at an Ottawa university. Born in Lebanon and now a Canadian citizen, Diab is accused in France of the crime and faces an extradition hearing early next year. He is under house arrest, but can leave to work. Mr. Diab was set to teach a summer sociology course until he learned of his termination by university officials. Why he was even hired in the first place is a curiosity. But, in light of the recent events, some professors are pressuring the university to give Diab his job back. Read the full story here in the Ottawa Citizen.
Although the group of roughly thirty professors insist they are motivated by fairness and not politics, the following statement by Peter Gose, chairman of the department at the university, illustrates the opposite:
“It’s not about anyone’s politics. It’s about procedure and it’s about respect”, adding, ” We have a large Muslim student population. There are more people to talk to beyond B’nai Brith. We’re a complex, multicultural society”.
Really–not about politics?
By this statement, do the professors mean asking only Muslim students what they think, or do they intend to ask the larger student body what they think? How about asking the broader public? Last time I checked, Canada’s multicultural society compromised far more than both the Jewish and Muslim student communities and universities were publicly funded institutions.
Even more bizarre, Gose views this past week’s firing of Diab a ‘continuation’ of this past winter’s Israeli anti-apartheid week when a poster depicting an image of an Israeli helicopter bombing a Palestinian child was banned from campus. One would have to have the brain of a tuberous begonia not to see that this has everything to do with ugly politics. Some wonder; if this had been a man accused of blowing up a Muslim mosque, would these same professors be similarly inclined to demand his teaching position be reinstated? Or a man accused of rape or child molestation?
This shouldn’t have anything to do with politics and Gose and his colleagues should pull their pointed fingers out of their collective, ignorant arses. Diab is accused of targeting a Paris synagogue out of sheer hate, murdering four innocent people and injuring scores of others. Pure and simple. He may or may not be innocent of this crime; that is indeed up to a Parisian court to decide. Regardless, this has nothing to do with Canada’s complex, multicultural society or the Muslim student body at Carleton. It also has nothing to do with Israeli anti-apartheid week or bureaucratic, university procedure. It does however have everything to do with respecting the value of the law and of lives lost which is not something reserved for B’nai Brith or Muslims or professors, but for all of us. Until Hassan Diab is extradited to France to stand trial, he does not belong on any Canadian university campus.