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Muslim group files complaint against UCF professor

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Updated: 8/01/2013 10:38 pm
ORLANDO, Fla. -- A professor is facing a formal complaint for how he teaches students at the University of Central Florida Wednesday.

The Council on American-Islamic Relations claims Jonathan Matusitz, a UCF professor, supports an anti-Muslim hate group.

It said in the letter the professor is a member of Act for America, a group that is against Muslims.

Matusitz told WFTV Channel 9 he's spoken to the organization before.

The letter asks UCF to review the professor's teachings.

A video of Matusitz was posted on YouTube.

"So why? Why do so many Muslims relative to other religions want to kill us? The answer is easy. Very easy. It's seven letters: culture," Matusitz said in the video.

His strong language is under scrutiny.

"Imagine that symbolic interaction that from the cradle until you're an adult teaches you to hate," Matusitz said in the video.

CAIR said in the letter Matusitz's teachings are inaccurate, anti-Muslim bigotry and hostility in the form of hate speech toward Islam and Muslims.

"They've never been in my classes. They don't know the context of my classes," Matusitz told WFTV's Ryan Hughes Wednesday.

The professor said he teaches a course on terrorism and communication and wrote a book about it.

Matusitz claims he backs all his lectures up with one thing: statistics.

"I think they're wrong. I think they're afraid of truth-tellers and they want to stifle free speech," Matusitz said.

Students Channel 9 spoke to said they're open to free thoughts and ideas in the classroom.

"As long as they're not violating anything - it's freedom of speech," said student A.P. Alcuis.

It's the reason why Matusitz isn't backing down.

"Do you stand behind everything you say in your class?" asked Hughes.

"Yes. Why would I make a claim that I don't believe in?" Matusitz said.

WFTV reached out to UCF for a comment.

"Dr. Matusitz expressed his opinion, which is his right. He was not speaking on behalf of the university and we do not endorse his views," said UCF spokesperson Grant Heston via email.
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RiverRat - 9/5/2013 12:52 PM
0 Votes
@Tim Obi,I just happen to stumble back across this article and saw your comments. You are incorrect, all the countries I listed are indeed considered middle eastern countries. You should try doing a little research. Also I do not watch Fox news.You check into getting on some meds for your mental issues.

Truthseeker - 6/26/2013 4:29 AM
0 Votes
Please post the Professor's mailing address so that money can be sent to aid in his defense. I have never been prejudice against a group in my life until the Muslim community started showing its true colors. I, like the Professor, base my bias on simple statistics.

Timm Obi - 6/21/2013 7:55 PM
0 Votes
RiverRat, while the countries you list are mostly Islamic countries, none of them are true Middle Eastern countries. The Middle East starts at Egypt and ends at Iran. Despite what you might hear on FOX news, it only includes the countries of Bahrain, Cyprus, Egypt, Iran, Iraq, Israel, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Turkey, United Arab Emirates, and Yemen plus the Palestinian territories. Not all of the countries in the Middle East are Arabic ones and not all of the Arabic ones are in the Middle East either. Turkey, Iran, and Israel are non Arabic countries, while Libya, Morocco, Sudan, and others in Africa are Arabic, but not Middle Eastern. Pakistan, Afghanistan, and the others you listed are neither. You should look into some Continuing Education courses with your local Public School District to brush up on YOUR Geography skills.

RiverRat - 6/20/2013 2:18 PM
0 Votes
Ummmmm, Pakistan is a Middle Eastern Country along with Afghanistan, Tajikistan, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan,Kyrgyzstan.......... You might want to brush up on your Geography Honeychild

honeychild - 6/20/2013 10:26 AM
0 Votes
There are plenty of professors out there who are critical of terrorism and of Islam without painting a bigoted image that all Muslims are potential terrorists, which is absolutely not true. This "professor" doesn't even know that Pakistan is not part of the Middle East, and he doesn't even realize that there is no singular "Muslim culture" just as he doesn't realize there also is no such thing as a singular "American culture". If he wants to speak against terrorism or be critical against Islam that's fine, but dang son get educated first. You don't understand culture or geography so how are you going to add anything to the conversation about radicalization and terrorism in Muslim societies?
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