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Academics and Muslims Await Results of Probe

Results of an independent probe into allegations that an Orange Coast College instructor vilified his Muslim students are expected to be released this week, with findings certain to draw intense scrutiny nationwide from Islamic groups and watchdogs for academic freedom.

The Orange County Department of Education has been conducting the investigation…

One national Islamic organization say Hearlson's discussion on terrorism and Islam crossed the line of scholarship into personal attack and discriminatory speech. They want to see him disciplined, if not fired,
saying he accused the students of being "terrorists," "Nazis" and "murderers."

"We view this as an important case," said Ra'id Faraj, a spokesman for the Southern California chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations. "We definitely don't want a situation where someone feels uncomfortable in a learning institution because their religion is mocked."

C.C. Abdelmuti, a 20-year-old Muslim in the class, said Hearlson directed all his comments to the four Muslims who sat near the back of the auditorium.

"He was talking to us, not to the class," she said. "Maybe he was saying [Muslims in general], but he was talking to us. I was in shock…"



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