This column provides the background of Professor Areeje Zufari, a Professor of Humanities and Coordinator of the Humanities Speakers Series at Valencia College located in Orlando, Florida. Zufari gained attention when she told her students “that the crucifixion of Jesus was a hoax and that his disciples did not believe he was ‘divine.’”
But there is much more to this story.
Joe Kaufman, an investigative journalist for FrontPage Magazine and Chairman of Americans Against Hate a civil rights organization and terrorism watchdog group, filed an affidavit No. CT-003545-04 naming Professor Zufari and her then husband Maher Ghawji a medical doctor based in Memphis, Tennessee. The affidavit reads in part:
8. Maher Ghawji has admitted to his wife of being a member of the Muslim Brotherhood, a violent political movement whose members are sworn to “defend Islam” with their “blood.” He accepted this status with a group of friends, during a trip they had made to Cairo, Egypt (Exhibit 1). He left Syria around 1982, the year a government-led massacre took place in the town of Hama – a Brotherhood stronghold – which resulted in the deaths of 10,000 to 40,000 people (Exhibit 2). Following the massacre, members of the Brotherhood fled Syria, some leaving for the U.S. or Europe, some joining up with Osama bin Laden to fight in Afghanistan (Exhibit 3).
9. During his court deposition, on June 4, 2004, Maher Ghawji admitted to the court and to his wife of being a Wahhabi, an adherent to a fanatical religious form of Islam emanating from Saudi Arabia (Exhibit 4 – page 26).
[ … ]
11a. Maher Ghawji’s son, Louis, has written about how his father wants to “get rid” of all Jews and how his father wants him [Louis] to become a suicide bomber. In an e-mail he sent to a friend on June 24, 2004, he wrote, “And because he [Maher Ghawji] wants to get rid of all Jews and everybody should be muslim and if not all others are idiots and blah blah blah muslim allah blah blah blah wants me to go blow up myself so he would be proud of me…” (Exhibit 5).
11b. Both of Maher Ghawji’s sons have discussed how their father hates Jews. In the July 2, 2004 chambers interview with Louis and K.K. Ghawji, the children state the following: K.K. Ghawji: “So, but also, when he watches the TV and hears about Jews, he doesn’t – he’s like saying I hate the Jews, it is – ” Louis Ghawji: “He’s always wondering like every time there is one Jew dead, it is always a big fuss…” (Exhibit 5).
12. About Palestinians becoming suicide bombers, Maher Ghawji stated in his June 2004 deposition, “I think this will generate this, I’m not sure, spirit of blowing themselves up or feeling in despair; and when you’re in despair evidently like they live, and these people has no education, fifty percent jobless, have no running water after the invasion of Israeli to the Gaza Strip and West Bank, destroy all their infrastructure, evidently they feel miserable; and I said these people — I don’t see why not.” (Exhibit 4 – page 82).
According to Jacob Engels from the Central Florida Post:
…Zufari had given Polston a failing grade without explanation, after the two disagreed over Zufari proclaiming during the first class that the Crucifixion of Christ was a hoax… as was the idea that Jesus’s disciples did not think he was “divine.”
Polston reached out and demanded an explanation from the professor, but she instead reported him to the Dean of Safety for making her feel “unsafe.”
The straight-A student would ultimately be suspended on March 24th and then face outlandish allegations by Zufari, later that day.
She accused him of skulking around in the brush outside the classroom, but video surveillance from a Dr. Phillips restaurant and neighborhood gate cameras prove Polston was nowhere near the school at the time.
Now the Central Florida Post has uncovered a lawsuit filed in Orange County, FL in 2007 that contains bombshell allegations against Zufari and provide insight into her radical Wahhabi leanings. SEE THE LAWSUIT BELOW.
EDITORS NOTE: Ms. Areeje Zufari Amazon.com profile notes:
Professor and writer Areej Zufari was born in the United States to Middle Eastern parents. Her interest in Middle Eastern culture began during her childhood in Arkansas where she also discovered her love for writing and painting. She earned a Masters degree in Liberal Studies from Rollins College and a Bachelors degree from Southern Methodist University. After 2001, she took on the demanding role of Director of Media and Communications for the Islamic Society of Central Florida. Her experiences speaking in the media revealed to her the numerous misconceptions Americans hold about the Middle East and Islam. Inspired by the importance of education to promote peace, Zufari enrolled in Hartford Seminary and earned a graduate certificate in Islamic Chaplaincy. Now, as a professor at Valencia College in Orlando, Florida, Zufari teaches Humanities courses full-time and writes during her weekends and summers. [Emphasis added]
Discover the Networks reports:
Imam Muhammad Musri, who oversees seven mosques from the Islamic Society of Central Florida, believes that Arab Christians claiming to have converted from Islam “are lying and . . . were actually Christians all along.” “They are using tales of conversion,” he says, “to get financial backing from evangelical ministries.” Taking a jab at Christianity’s many Protestant denominations, he adds, “We don’t want the Muslims to end up with 700 determinations of Islam.” Musri’s speeches are sold and distributed by the Islamic Society of North America.
Welcome! I am a Professor of Humanities at Valencia Community College’s East Campus.
I teach the Middle Eastern Humanities, 20th Century Humanities, Renaissance & Baroque Humanities.
Human creativity is one of the most fascinating subjects, and Humanities courses allow us to jump into the creative fields in an integrative manner.
My courses emphasize student interaction and critical thinking. If you are interested in taking one of my courses, please send me an email. I would love to hear from you.
Office: East Campus
Ms. Zufari’s elective Middle Eastern Humanities course syllabus reads:
The course covers topics such as Middle Eastern religions, philosophy, literature, architecture, visual arts, music, and the effects of modernity on the Middle East.
Students will have the opportunity to study the culture of the Middle East in an integrated manner that focuses on the dominant ideas and major trends, including:
- Characteristics and Distinctions of Middle Eastern Culture
- Themes, styles, and impact of Middle Eastern Literature
- Concepts and impact of the religion of Islam
- The effects of religion on Middle Eastern peoples
- Characteristics and trends in Middle Eastern Art
- Characteristics of Middle Eastern Architecture
- The Effects of Modernity on the Middle East
- Beyond the Headlines: A Deeper Look at Middle Eastern Culture by Areej Zufari