A professor at a Toronto university has resigned after a Facebook post on Wednesday that appeared to suggest he was the target of anti-Semitic attacks.
The post, which was shared by a man who said he was a member of the Black Lives Matter movement, appeared to show a picture of a young woman wearing a hijab with a star on it, according to the Toronto Star.
“[She is] standing in the middle of a busy intersection. “
It’s a picture that I would never, ever want to be associated with.” “
[She is] standing in the middle of a busy intersection.
It’s a picture that I would never, ever want to be associated with.”
The university said the professor, who is white, was removed from the faculty on Thursday, after the incident came to light.
“We have no reason to believe this post is a hoax or is in any way reflective of the views of the faculty or the university,” university spokesman Scott Flanders said in a statement.
“The professor was removed on Friday, and the university will be making every effort to have him reinstated as soon as possible.”
The woman in the photo posted the post on Facebook on July 1, and then deleted it on Thursday.
The university later published an apology, and said the photo had been “misconstrued.”
Flanders told CBC News that it was the first post by the professor to feature a hijab in more than a decade.
He said the post, along with others from the same individual, were posted online between September and October.
“This was not the first time someone had posted something offensive and hateful on Facebook, but this was the most egregious,” Flanders wrote.
“What this individual did was to perpetuate and propagate a toxic and dangerous image of a Muslim woman and her hijab.”
He said that he was “extremely concerned” about the university’s response, adding that the university would work to “establish a safe environment for all members of our campus community.”
“We must make sure that we do everything we can to protect the safety of all of our students and staff,” he wrote.
On Wednesday, a woman named “Cindy” told CBC Toronto that she and other students had been harassed in the name of Islam.
“I don’t think this is the first instance of racism that I’ve experienced, but it’s not the last,” she said.
“If you’re a Muslim, you know the people in this world that hate you.
And if you’re in the Black community, you’re the people who don’t want you.”
A spokesperson for the university told CBC that the professor’s removal from the university was a matter of “extensive internal review.”
“The University of Ontario does not tolerate any behaviour that would negatively impact the academic and professional reputation of the University of Ottawa, the University College of Ontario or the University’s other academic and research partners,” university spokesperson Lauren Wylie wrote in a written statement.