Rana Abbas       313-581-1201


September 26, 2001 [Dearborn, Michigan]

Ahmed Kassim, a 21-year-oldDearborn resident of Yemeni decent, was physically assaulted on September 13,2001 by his professor at Henry Ford Community College, after he disagreed with statements that his professor was making against Islam and Muslims.

According to Mr. Kassim, after he tried to explain to his professor, Mr. Azar, that Islam does not preach hatred or violence, his professor shouted at him to leave his classroom.  When Mr. Kassim continued to try and explain, and did not make an attempt to leave the class, Mr. Azar grabbed him by the neck, pulled him from his seat and physically threw him out of his classroom.  He then took his belongings and threw them outside of the classroom too.

Mr. Kassim explained that his professor seemed to be angry with him, even before he said anything.  "When he walked into the classroom that day, he had hate in his eyes", he stated.  He also explained that his professor had a book with him titled, "Why I Am Not a Muslim", which he recommended to the class.! 

Mr. Kassim's attorney, Mohammed Abdrabboh, explains
that they "hope that HFCC will take a zero tolerance approach to this and, at a minimum, fire this professor immediately. Mr. Kassim and his attorney are exploring all legal avenues. A police report has already been filed and is pending an investigation.  It is their hope to get the full cooperation of the College and authorities and send a clear message that this type of ethnic intimidation will not be tolerated under any circumstances.

Channel 4 (WDIV) has already pursued this story, and will be broadcasting it tonight at 5:30 PM.آ The Detroit Free Press and the Detroit News are also covering it.

"It is very unfortunate to hear of such an incident occurring on the premises of a prominent educational institution, such as Henry Ford Community College.  HFCC should attend to this mater quickly and uphold its zero tolerance policy, especially as our nation continues to deal with the impact of this national tragedy, ‌explains Imad Hamad, ADC Midwest Regional Director.

ADC encourages all Arab and Muslim Americans to be aware of their civil rights and pursue action, should they fall victim to any type of intimidation or harassment as a result of the tragedy that struck our nation on September 11, 2001.