Politics

Pro-Trump Muslim Harassed by Indignant Professor

Asra Nomani says op-ed in support of president-elect met with 'harmful, vulgar' messages

A Muslim former Georgetown professor filed an official complaint with the university Thursday after a current professor bombarded her with “hateful, vulgar and disrespectful messages” after she published a column in support of President-Elect Donald Trump.

Following Trump’s victory against Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton on Nov. 8, Asra Q. Nomani wrote a column in The Washington Post entitled, “I’m a Muslim, a woman and an immigrant. I voted for Trump.” Christine Fair, an associate professor in Georgetown’s School for Foreign Service, responded to Nomani’s column via Twitter Nov. 22. The two messaged back and forth for a while before the content and tone of Fair’s responses prompted Nomani to first contact Fair’s direct supervisors. She then filed a complaint with Georgetown’s Institutional Diversity, Equity and Affirmative Action organization and asked for an apology.

Fair appeared to take issue with Nomani’s credentials because they challenged the liberals’ go-to narrative of portraying all of Trump’s supporters as sexist, anti-immigrant Islamaphobes.

“I honor the First Amendment, I believe in the First Amendment,” Nomani said, according to the Post. “With all rights come serious responsibilities. Civil discourse is one of those responsibilities, especially for educators. We are models.”

In a Dec. 2 complaint to the director of Georgetown’s Center for Security Studies, Nomani wrote that Fair “has directed hateful, vulgar and disrespectful messages to me.” Those messages, she said, included calling Nomani “a ‘fraud’; ‘fame-mongering clown show’; and a ‘bevkuf,’ or ‘idiot,’ in my native Urdu, who has ‘pimped herself out.'”

Nomani also said that one of Fair’s Twitter messages read: “I’ve written you off as a human being … Your vote helped normalize Nazis in D.C. What don’t you understand, you clueless dolt?”

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Fair allegedly added that Nomani “pimped herself out to all media outlets because she was a ‘Muslim woman who voted for Trump.'” Fair appeared to take issue with Nomani’s credentials because they challenged the liberals’ go-to narrative of portraying all of Trump’s supporters as sexist, anti-immigrant Islamaphobes, no questions asked.

After sparring back and forth, Nomani reportedly published some of Fair’s offensive messages to her. In response, Fair wrote a post on Facebook Dec. 6 which concluded with the words, “So again, Ms. Nomani, ‘F*** YOU. GO TO HELL,'” as the Post reported. Fair also said that Nomani “has no right to decry criticism . . . even criticism that is in language that offends her fragile sensibilities.”

Nomani wrote in a follow-up letter Dec. 28 that Fair’s aggressive responses continued, including calling her an “attention mongering crybully” for her attempts to get Georgetown involved.

Nomani clarified that she does not want Fair be punished by losing her job with Georgetown – all she wants is an apology and some appropriate training for Fair. But Fair was quick to slam Nomani for the complaint, saying it set a “dangerous trend.”

“I am most concerned about the increasing appeal to employers to silence the criticism of citizens made in their private capacity as citizens,” Fair told the Post in an email. “Because most of us need our jobs, as few of us are financially independent, this is the most pernicious form of bullying of critics.”

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In response to Nomani’s complaint and Fair’s pushback, Georgetown spokeswoman Rachel Pugh wrote in an email, “We take these issues seriously and understand and appreciate the concern about the tone of these exchanges,” according to the Post.

“As an academic community we hold dear our commitment to free speech and expression. Being committed to the free and open exchange of ideas does not mean, however, that we approve of or endorse each and every statement made by members of our faculty.”

The university, however, declined at the time to condemn directly the tone and content of Fair’s criticisms.

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