Last spring, Oberlin College canceled classes after claims that someone dressed in a KKK robe was seen walking outside. It apparently turned out to be a woman in a blanket.
But Oberlin, which is affiliated with CAIR, does overlook some far more serious threats when they come from Muslims.
EunJung An, associate professor of French and cinema studies, is seeking at least $25,000 in damages from the college, which she said did nothing to protect her.
She filed papers in Lorain County Common Pleas Court saying fellow professor Ali Yedes crossed a line with women who work in the French and comparative literature department.
During a 45-minute tirade, Yedes told An that “in his culture, he could have had the female department chair killed because of his perceived mistreatment by her in postponing his tenure,” the lawsuit claims.
The Oberlin College website identifies Yedes as a “Muslim religious life affiliate” with the Islamic Center of Cleveland.
An said she felt physically threatened and when she complained to a senior department member, she was told she “needed to develop a thicker skin.”
Yedes allegedly told another professor in August 2013 that he brought his nephew to the United States on a student visa specifically to “stab and kill someone from his department.”
When the nephew didn’t follow through with the demand, Yedes beat him and the nephew fled the country, the suit said.
The worker in whom Yedes confided reported that information to the Oberlin College dean of arts and sciences. An’s suit said the college failed to tell her of Yedes’ threat against her life.
An said she was moved to another building, then to a basement — creating a number of job burdens — to avoid more hostile interactions with Yedes. Another female worker who the suit said was harassed was moved as well.
Meanwhile, Yedes was given tenure and a larger office, An said.
The suit also accuses Yedes of calling her a whore and other defamatory words, and disrupting meetings with outbursts. His behavior has been erratic and abusive and caused turnover of five acting French chairs, the court papers said.
The suit cites other run-ins with female professors, including incidents in April 2008 and February, April, and July 2009.
Oberlin College may not prevent Muslim faculty from acting out Islamic misogyny on campus and may even make life worse for female professors who complain, but since it does offer a Department of Gender, Sexuality and Feminist Studies, it must be okay.
Oberlin College has published an official document on triggers, advising faculty members to “be aware of racism, classism, sexism, heterosexism, cissexism, ableism, and other issues of privilege and oppression,” to remove triggering material when it doesn’t “directly” contribute to learning goals and “strongly consider” developing a policy to make “triggering material” optional.
Oberlin censors triggering material, but not its cause.