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AUB professor insults student for wearing hijab

20-9-2017

Activists on social media shared yesterday the case of Maryam Dajani, the social sciences student at the American University of Beirut (AUB) who was allegedly discriminated against by sociology professor, Dr. Samir Khalaf for wearing hijab. Khalaf, Dajani recounted, was giving his lecture, when she politely asked him to repeat what he was saying. But “to my shock, rather than reiterating, he lashed out at me with hate saying, ‘you cannot hear me because of that stupid hijab (head scarf) covering your ears… if you removed it, you would have been able to hear me’,” Dajani said. Dr. Khalaf’s reaction, she added, would have been different if asked by other students to repeat a sentence. For his part, Khalaf clarified his stand making clear that the issue was repeated more than once with the same student and the reason is not the hijab but that she wears it very tightly over her ears which prevents her from hearing properly. “She was the only student in the room requesting that I restate my words though my voice is loud,” Khalaf noted. “Personally, I am against a person explicitly showing his/her religious affiliation, regardless of his/her appearance. This is a personal matter and point of view and I do not mean the hijab only,” Dr. Khalaf maintained. The subject is over-stated and amplified, he said, mentioning that he will meet the student and a Title IX officer responsible for reporting discrimination including discriminatory harassment incidents to elucidate his viewpoint. (L’Orient Le Jour, September 19, 2017)

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