UK lecturer accused of anti-Semitism and Holocaust denial is dismissed
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UK lecturer accused of anti-Semitism and Holocaust denial is dismissed

University of Essex held tribunal over computer science teacher Maaruf Ali, who also urged students to prevent formation of campus Jewish society

University of Essex science lecturer Maaruf Ali. (YouTube screenshot)
University of Essex science lecturer Maaruf Ali. (YouTube screenshot)

A science lecturer at the UK’s University of Essex has been dismissed after he posted anti-Semitic messages on Facebook and called on students to vote against forming a new Jewish society.

The university said it completed an investigation “into the serious allegations made against a member of staff,” the UK’s Jewish Chronicle reported Wednesday.

“Following a tribunal hearing which considered all the evidence the member of staff has been dismissed,” a university spokesperson told the paper.

Computer science lecturer Maaruf Ali was probed over claims he posted content including Holocaust denial, opposition to the creation of a Jewish society at the university and conspiracy theories about Zionism.

Union of Jewish Students campaigns organizer Daniel Kosky said the decision was “wholly correct.”

A building at the University of Essex (Wikimedia Commons, Rwendland)

“We welcome this positive step in creating an inclusive campus environment, and we hope to see the University of Essex continue this work into the future,” Kosky said. “Those in positions of responsibility and influence must be held accountable for the environment that they create in lecture halls,”

At a vote in February, the university’s student union ultimately created a new Jewish society on campus, but over 200 students cast ballots against the measure during a vote, raising concerns of rising anti-Semitism at the academic institution.

As voting was in progress Ali was said to have warned in a Facebook post that “the Zionists next want to create a society here at our university!” The warning was written beneath another post claiming Israel planned to “expel 36,000 Palestinians from the Negev.”

Ali was also said to have shared an image on Facebook from Smoloko.com, a far-right website sympathetic to Nazism, which claimed that during the 2015 Paris terror attacks, a French police officer who was shot dead was actually “a Mossad agent live and well in Buenos Aires … a crypto-Jew in the service of Israeli intelligence,” according to the Guardian.

The lecturer also allegedly shared a post claiming that “50,000 Jews protest[ed] Israel” in New York, but that there was a “total mainstream media blackout by the Zionist mafia.”

More than 600 people voted on the February ratification of the Jewish society at the University of Essex, and about 64 percent voted in favor.

Following the vote, the national Union of Jewish Students said the fact that so many people were against the ratification of the society was “simply shocking.”

“We are deeply disappointed by the significant proportion of students who have voted against the establishment of a Jewish society at the University of Essex,” a spokesman for the UJS told the BBC at the time.

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