Harvard Students and Faculty Call on University to Fire Professor for Anti-Muslim Comments

More than 200 faculty and students at Harvard University are demanding the ouster of a Harvard faculty member after he wrote an article saying that India should revoke voting rights for certain Muslim citizens, reports the Hindustan Times. The professor, Subramanian Swamy, teaches economics at the Harvard Summer School and is head of the Janata Party, in India.

Following serial explosions in Mumbai on July 13, Mr. Swamy wrote that Muslims must “acknowledge with pride that though they may be Muslims, their ancestors were Hindus.” Only then should they be allowed to vote. He also promoted other ways in which India should “propogate the development of a Hindu mindset.”

“Swamy has exploited this event not only to promote a vision of Indian society based on Hindu supremacy, but to disparage and cast suspicion on the entire Muslim community in India,” according to the petition.

The newspaper quoted the dean of Harvard Summer School, Donald H. Pfister, saying: “We will give this matter our serious attention.” But in a written statement to the press, Jeff A. Neal,  director of university communications, defended the Mr. Swamy’s right to free speech: “It is central to the mission of a university to protect free speech, including that of Dr. Swamy and of those who disagree with him.  We are ultimately stronger as a university when we maintain our commitment to the most basic freedoms that enable the robust exchange of ideas.”

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