Newly released evidence has revealed that the Council for American Islamic Relations (CAIR) worked privately to pressure DePaul University to fire adjunct professor Thomas Klocek for telling Muslim activist students that their views on Middle-East issues were wrong. According to a letter to DePaul’s President from CAIR’s executive director M. Yaser Tabbara, “In light of …Mr. Klocek’s biased remarks, we are requesting that the University…reprimand Mr. Klocek for his conduct by permanently dismissing him from any teaching post at DePaul University.” (Exhibit # DPU 945).
At a student fair on September 15, 2004, during the same month that DePaul launched its Islamic World Studies Program, Professor Klocek engaged several Muslim students in a heated discussion about the Arab-Israeli conflict. He strongly disputed their assertions that Israeli treatment of Palestinians was equivalent to the Nazi treatment of the Jews. He also cited a Chicago Sun-Times columnist who was quoting an Aljazeera writer to the effect that although not all Muslims are terrorists, today most terrorists are Muslim. Later, in another connection between DePaul and the Muslim community, a DePaul Trustee, Michael Murad, wrote to DePaul’s president asking, “What steps have been taken to ensure that DePaul programs in the Middle East are not undermined by this incident?” (#DPU 003174)
According to documents furnished by DePaul in response to document discovery in the lawsuit between Klocek and DePaul, less than a month after the student fair incident, on October 12, 2004, CAIR’s Tabbara sent an email to those who opposed Klocek, stating, “…we [CAIR] will be ready to file a formal complaint with the Illinois State Board of Higher Education… This will also be accompanied by a press release, a press conference or both.” (DPU 003493)
Tabbara’s email also referred to a letter sent to DePaul’s president the next day in which Tabbara made the following demands of DePaul, “In light of the grave implications of Mr. Klocek’s biased remarks, we are requesting that the University take appropriate and immediate responsive action…including:
1. Provide a formal written apology to the students who experienced the incident firsthand.
2. Reprimand Mr. Klocek for his conduct by permanently dismissing him from any teaching post at DePaul University.”
CAIR continued its campaign against Klocek when, according to another just released document (DPU 000763), on December 16, 2004 CAIR wrote Prof. Klocek’s Dean, Suzanne Dumbleton, and said, “The gravity of Mr. Klocek’s actions towards the students should result in his permanent dismissal as a matter of policy. Any alternative action will set a dangerous precedent…”
John W. Mauck, attorney for Thomas Klocek, said, “These documents confirm our suspicions. Rather than protect academic freedom or even treat Thomas Klocek, a professor with a 14 year spotless track record at DePaul, the university surrendered to behind-the-scenes Muslim activist pressure. At DePaul academic freedom has been subjugated to Sharia.”
To see copies of documents cited in this press release, please visit http://freedepaul.blogspot.com or contact TC Public Relations at 312-422-1333.
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