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Professor Who Made Anti-Muslim Comments Retires

March 12, 2018

Clifford Adams, an assistant professor of music at the University of Cincinnati, is on administrative leave until he retires on May 1, over comments he made to a student about Muslims, Cincinnati.com reported. "The university is committed to excellence and diversity in order to create the best living and learning environment on behalf of our students, faculty and staff," Greg Vehr, university spokesperson, said in a statement. "We take seriously all allegations of discriminatory behavior. The university investigated this matter and followed the process for review under the collective bargaining agreement with the faculty."

Adams was investigated after he asked students to write about the song “Walk on Water” as an assignment. In response to a Muslim student’s interpretation, Adams wrote, among other comments, that the U.S. president’s “first sworn duty is to protect America from enemies, and the greatest threat to our freedom is not the president, it is radical Islam. Review this list of Islamic terrorist attacks and then tell me about your hurt feelings.” Of Muslim women, he wrote, “Muslim females are safer in America than in any Middle Eastern country. How dare you complain while enjoying our protection!” He also said, “As you well know, young Muslim women are murdered by their father or a brother for dating -- or for holding hands with -- a non-Muslim boy …” Adams publicly apologized for his remarks after they were shared on social media. He did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

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Colleen Flaherty

Colleen Flaherty, Reporter, covers faculty issues for Inside Higher Ed. Prior to joining the publication in 2012, Colleen was military editor at the Killeen Daily Herald, outside Fort Hood, Texas. Before that, she covered government and land use issues for the Greenwich Time and Hersam Acorn Newspapers in her home state of Connecticut. After graduating from McGill University in Montreal in 2005 with a degree in English literature, Colleen taught English and English as a second language in public schools in the Bronx, N.Y. She earned her M.S.Ed. from City University of New York Lehman College in 2008 as part of the New York City Teaching Fellows program. 

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