Responding to a Muslim civil rights group upset that a Florida Atlantic University employee spat on a young Muslim woman protesting a controversial speaker Tuesday, university officials released a statement Friday noting that the employee had apologized.
“Upon review, there were differing accounts regarding the reported intensity of the exchange,” university spokeswoman Kristine McGrath said in the statement. “The employee was not acting in an official capacity, and there were no charges filed. As reported, the employee apologized for her admitted behavior at the lecture.”
The internal review, conducted by the Division of Student Affairs, was ordered after the state chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations wrote a letter to FAU President Frank Brogan expressing concern over the incident.
On Tuesday night, Sana Akhtar, 23, was protesting a speech by Daniel Pipes, a Middle East historian whose views have been called racist and xenophobic, when a woman clad in a yellow FAU polo shirt leaned in and spat at her. Akhtar declined to press charges provided the woman apologized.
“The fact that an FAU employee could spit on and verbally abuse a student of the university is completely unacceptable,” wrote the state civil rights groups’ executive director, Altaf Ali, in a letter Wednesday. “No one should be subjected to such repulsive and nauseating behavior.”