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Renowned academic pushed from her position at University Western Sydney

in AUSTRALIA, 26/03/2010

Dr Samar Habib is a well-known and respected academic. Dr Habib resigned as a result of feeling under undue pressure on the part of the University on March 26, 2010. Immediately after she requested to withdraw her resignation, the School of Humanities and Languages excised two Palestine-related texts from her curriculum: that of the internationally recognised poet Mahmoud Darwish and cartoonist Joe Sacco.

Dr Samar Habib is a well-known and respected academic. Dr Habib resigned as a result of feeling under undue pressure on the part of the University on March 26, 2010. Immediately after she requested to withdraw her resignation, the School of Humanities and Languages excised two Palestine-related texts from her curriculum: that of the internationally recognised poet Mahmoud Darwish and cartoonist Joe Sacco. The Palestinian content from her first year subject ‘Texts and Traditions’ was cut in half, censoring the Israeli invasion of Beirut and living conditions in Gaza under occupation. There was no logical reason given for these excisions and cuts. Human Resources continued to evade Dr Habib on the issue of her letter of resignation.

We believe that Dr.Habib was discriminated against on the basis of her sexual orientation and her area of research. She is an expert of sexuality and feminism in the Arab world. We believe she was discriminated against because she is Palestinian.

Dr Habib was an asset to the institution and was supported by students who studied with her. The university’s mistreatment of Dr Habib is evidence of poor Equity and Diversity policies and the allowance of discriminatory practices to be enacted against progressive intellectuals. We demand that the university issue a letter of apology to Dr Habib, recognise the harm caused to her and re-instate her.

Dr Samar Habib is the author of
Female Homosexuality in the Middle East (Routledge)
Arabo-Islamic Texts on Female Homosexuality (Teneo)
Editor of Islam and Homosexuality 2 volumes (Praeger)
Translator of I Am You (Cambria Press)
Editor-in-chief of Nebula: A Journal of Multidisciplinary Scholarship

Please email your protest to UWS Vice Chancellor Professor Janice Reid
vc@uws.edu.au
 

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