The University of Essex has reportedly dismissed a computer science and electronics lecturer, Dr Maaruf Ali, over antisemitic Facebook posts opposing the creation of a Jewish society at the university. In one post, Dr Ali wrote that “the Zionists next want to create a society here at our university” on a Facebook page for new students.
We commend the university for its handling of this incident.
In February, Dr Ali openly and vociferously opposed the establishment of a student Jewish society at the university, which was formed after the initial vote had received opposition from hundreds of students.
Dr Ali also posted conspiracy theories alleging “Zionist” control of the media, and shared far-right content alleging Mossad involvement in the 2015 terror attack in Paris. He also shared a post claiming that the Jewish population of Europe actually rose during the Holocaust, and equated Israel with Nazi Germany.
In response to his sacking, Dr Ali said that he was disappointed to be dismissed and did not “hate Jews, their religion, people or their culture. I believe that everyone should be allowed to form any society. This is what I’m thinking now, which is what I didn’t think at the time.”
A University of Essex statement confirmed that a member of staff had been dismissed following a tribunal hearing. The statement said: “The university has now completed an independent investigation into the serious allegations made against a member of university staff.”
Daniel Kosky, Union of Jewish Students campaigns organiser, welcomed the dismissal and said that it was the correct decision for “severely antisemitic” social media comments.
Earlier this month, Chris Skidmore, the Minister of State for Universities, urged all of the UK’s higher education institutions to formally adopt the International Definition of Antisemitism.
If any students are concerned about antisemitism on campus or need assistance, they can call us on 0330 822 0321, or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.