College Asked to Investigate Claims Against Arabic Professor

Review Staff

The Cleveland chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations requested on Tuesday that Oberlin College investigate one of its Arabic professors for allegedly promoting anti-Muslim sentiments in his publications and on campus.

Julia A. Shearson, the executive director for Cleveland’s chapter of the organization’s advocacy group, wrote in a letter to college President Marvin Krislov that Oberlin Arabic professor Dr. Samir Amin Abdellatif “promotes anti-Muslim bigotry and … condones crude and ugly caricatures of Muslims” in a tract titled The Unknown History of Islam.

Although the book was published under the pseudonym Sami Benjamin, the Council contends that Abdellatif is in fact the author of the text. College students who have taken courses with Abdellatif independently corroborated this allegation, claiming that the professor openly stated in class that he wrote the tract.

Shearson’s letter highlights that Abdellatif provided a testimony in the College’s recent review of Arabic language Department Chair Ali Yedes, who filed a lawsuit against the College for discrimination. For his part, Abdellatif has brought several complaints against Yedes during his tenure at Oberlin.

Yedes is currently implicated in a lawsuit filed against the College by fellow faculty member Grace An, assistant professor of French and Cinema Studies. An claims that the College has neglected to act on reports of repeated instances of harassment based on her sex.