My investigation into anti-Semitic, Holocaust-denying professor Kaukab Siddique has brought Siddique and his employer, Lincoln University, under the spotlight of both the national media and Pennsylvania state lawmakers.
My exclusive report, which originally aired on CBN News on Oct. 18 (click on the viewer below to watch), exposed Siddique's viciously anti-Semitic writings, in which he called the Holocaust "a hoax" and accused Jews of "taking over" America by "devious and immoral means." It also featured video clips of Siddique calling for the destruction of Israel at a rally in Washington, D.C., over Labor Day weekend.
Commentators and media outlets from across the ideological spectrum, from Glen Beck to the New York Times to the Huffington Post and beyond, quickly picked up on the story, which was also featured on Fox News's O'Reilly Factor and in the Israeli media.
But more importantly, the report drew the attention of Pennsylvania state lawmakers, some of whom sent a letter to Lincoln University calling for a probe into Siddique's anti-Semitic diatribes. Siddique--a Muslim who originally hails from Pakistan--is an associate professor of English at Lincoln U., which has received nearly $200 million in Pennsylvania state money since 2003 alone. Given its acceptance of extremely generous state funding, the school's continuing association with a highly visible, public hatemonger like Siddique obviously raises serious questions, some of which were addressed in the lawmakers' letter to Lincoln University president Ivory V. Nelson.
During his 25-year run at the school, Siddique has engaged in a steady stream of pro-jihad, anti-Jewish rhetoric. From denying the Holocaust, to savaging America, to advocating for convicted, Al Qaeda-linked terrorists, Siddique has long made his views abundantly clear in both his speeches and published writings, as I first reported last week. But his public, videotaped calls for Israel's destruction (see his entire, genocidal speech here) were a serious tipping point.
And now the Chairman of the Pennsylvania State Board of Education, Joseph Torsella, is demanding answers--and action--from Lincoln University. Here is a portion of a letter he sent to Nelson just yesterday (read the entire letter here):
Academic freedom and the system of tenure designed to protect it are critical elements of higher education. So a professor expressing personal opinions (even extraordinarily objectionable ones) on current events is one matter, and I understand the need to protect these expressions of speech. Denying the Holocaust-a tragic historical fact-is another matter entirely. It is especially troubling that the professor in question teaches at a state-related university, subsidized by state tax dollars.
In my view, Mr. Siddique's Holocaust denials go directly to his fitness to educate the students in his charge (particularly since I understand that he teaches, among other subjects, a course in journalism). As you know, state regulations (22 Pa. Code section 31.24(b)) governing institutions of higher education in the Commonwealth require that faculty "shall be... qualified to teach in their fields of specialization." While the standards for initiating a review of any faculty member's tenure at any institution are appropriately high, the falsification or purposeful misrepresentation of research data, for example, would certainly occasion such a review. Mr. Siddique's misrepresentations of history are equally grave and consequential, and raise questions about intellectual integrity.
In the interest of clearing the air around these unfortunate accounts, I urge Lincoln to:
1. Formally investigate whether Mr. Siddique is, in fact, "qualified" to teach in light of his denial of the indisputable historical facts;
2. Formally investigate whether Mr. Siddique has used ANY university resources (e.g., office support, email and computer system, research facilities) to convey his personal views or in support of his efforts such as "New Trend Magazine";
3. Communicate the results of those two investigations to the State Board of Education's Council of Higher Education at the earliest possible opportunity; and
4. Make a clear public statement repudiating the substance of Mr. Siddique's views and underscoring that they are in conflict with the university's values and mission.
Bravo to Torsella, who, it appears, will finally get some sort of substantive answer from the Lincoln administration, which has been disgracefully silent on the building Siddique controversy other than this (to be kind) weakly worded statement that appeared in a few Pennsylvania newspapers--and which is not even featured on the homepage of Lincoln University's Web site as of this morning:
"Dr. Kaukab Siddique's personal views and expressed comments do not represent Lincoln University. Furthermore, the University has not been made aware of any instances where Dr. Siddique's recent offensive views have been introduced to the University's students in classrooms or in any public forum on the University's campus."
That's it? Siddique himself has had more to say over the past week about the situation, including comments to the Inside Higher Ed Web site and these defiant statements to the Philadelphia Inquirer:
"I got a little fired and said a few things that were pretty strong," said Siddique, a tenured professor who has taught at the university since 1985. "That doesn't mean I wouldn't say them again."
Very well, professor. But from the looks of things, the next time you call for genocide against the Jews, it may not come as a staff member at Lincoln University.