A newly retired Muslim professor at the University of Connecticut was caught on camera last year ordering students to remove their shoes and praise Allah before entering his office.
Felix Coe, a former professor of biology at the public university, was seen berating a female student for not removing her shoes before addressing him in his office, according to a video posted last week by Jihad Watch.
“Take your shoes off,” Mr. Coe barked at the student.
“Why?” she asked.
“Then get the hell out of here. I don’t want to see you,” Mr. Coe responded.
“I am a Muslim,” he later explained. “You don’t come into my office with dirty shoes. That’s a curse.”
“Bismillah” means “in the name of Allah” in Arabic.
In the same video, two men confront Mr. Coe in his office and ask why he required students to follow such rituals.
“I wanted to know why these [signs] are necessary,” one of the men asked Mr. Coe.
“Why would a student have to take their shoes off? Why would they have to say [Bismillah]?”
Mr. Coe responded, “Because I am a Muslim and I don’t want them coming in my office with dirty shoes.”
“This is your office, this is not a prayer place,” the man argued.
At one point in the video, Mr. Coe tried to grab the other man’s recording device as he tried to escort them out of his office.
“Don’t touch,” the man fired back.
The university told Campus Reform that Mr. Coe retired since the video was taken in December and that the signs were taken down as soon as they were made aware of the issue.
“UConn promptly resolved the issue in a manner that respects the rights of all involved, and affirms the University’s values of civility and inclusivity,” a university spokesperson said. “Regarding this instance, the sign that had directed guests to precede their conversations with a specific Arabic phrase was immediately removed at the University’s direction.”
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