Colleges are supposed to be places where people exchange ideas and challenge each other on beliefs they have developed during their lives. Unfortunately, colleges these days are places where having a differing opinion makes you some kind of threat.
The latest proof of this comes from Rollins College in Winter Park, Florida, after a Christian student was suspended because he had the audacity to challenge his Muslim professor’s anti-Christian beliefs, the Central Florida Post reported.
Marshall Polston was suspended from the school after he challenged Professor Areeje Zufari’s claims that Jesus wasn’t actually crucified and that his disciples didn’t think he was the son of God. Polston also challenged a fellow student’s extremist views.
“It was very off-putting and flat-out odd. I’ve traveled the Middle East, lectured at the Salahaddin University, and immersed myself in Muslim culture for many years. Honestly, it reminded me of some of the more radical groups I researched when abroad,” Polston told the Central Florida Post.
After challenging Zufari’s claims, Polston then received a 52 on a paper he submitted — with no explanation for the grade. Zufari then reported Polston to the “dean of safety” and claimed that he was making her feel “unsafe,” and canceled class.
Things continued to go downhill for Polston. During a discussion about Shariah law, a student in the class made quite disturbing remarks about homosexuals and what should happen to them.
“He stated that a good punishment for gays, adulterers and thieves was the removal of a certain body part, as determined by Shariah law. It took a few seconds for me to realize that he actually said that, especially after what this community has faced with the tragic loss of life,” Polston said, referring to last year’s terrorist attack on the Pulse nightclub.
After Polston, and other students, objected to this radical belief, Polston was suspended by the dean of safety.
“They made it clear that they had not gotten a report about what the student said, and were more concerned about the danger I was causing to the campus. What danger? A difference of opinion in a college classroom is nothing out of the ordinary and certainly not dangerous. It was surreal and degrading,” he told the newspaper.
Perhaps hoping to get some more publicity, Zufari then filed a report with the Winter Park Police Department claiming that Polston was harassing her.
However, Zufari has been caught in her lie, as Polston was able to produce surveillance footage and receipts showing that he wasn’t anywhere near the campus at the time the supposed harassment took place, according to the Central Florida Post.
We’ll see if outright lying carries as serious a punishment as a classroom disagreement.
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