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Professor Suspended Over Blog Comments on Women, Muslims

October 18, 2021

Rob Smith, an associate professor of computer science at the University of Montana, is on administrative leave over remarks he made on his personal blog about women, Muslims and other groups. Smith’s remarks, some of which have now been deleted, include that women’s most valuable asset in finding a husband is physical attractiveness, and that “This value peaks from 16-18, fades slowly until 25, then starts fading quickly. Your pool of potential husbands shrinks significantly with every year past 18.” Regarding Muslims, Smith wrote, “The fact is that one cannot both be a peaceful Muslim and a faithful Muslim. In other words, Muslims are only peaceful to the degree that they are not Muslims.”

Smith will not be teaching or physically on campus during his leave, according to the university. The Great Falls Tribune reported that Smith said in a statement, “I am disheartened by some of the conclusions that have been expressed about my role [at the university].” He also said, “I regret any offense caused by my expression of views as a private citizen outside of the workplace. I do not and have never treated students or colleagues differently. I look forward to the expeditious resolution of this situation in a manner consistent with university policies, as well as principles of freedom of expression that I support for all individuals.”

Some students reportedly petitioned the university to take action against Smith prior to his suspension, arguing that it is inappropriate for someone who expressed physical attraction to teenagers, among other sentiments, to be required to meet with university students one on one at times.

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