University of San Diego “Islamic faith” professor Bahar Davary used yellow badges like Jews were forced to wear during the Holocaust to protest “Islamophobia,” triggering outrage.
The professor’s version of yellow stars used a crescent moon and the word “Muslim.”
Davary, an associate professor of religious studies, suggested the offensive action to students in an introduction to Islam class entitled, “Islamic Faith and Practice” according to the Times of San Diego.
The teacher suggested a parallel between the murder of millions of Jews and fear of a backlash in the aftermath of radical Islamic terror in the U.S.
Davary reportedly said, “What it symbolizes is that there have been people who have been made to be the ‘other’ throughout history.”
The professor also lambasted 2016 GOP presidential candidates, including Donald Trump, for comments relating to Muslims, then said, “There have been anti-Muslim actions taking place. In some ways it’s frightening.”
Davary estimated for the Times that as of December 17 there were about 100 students and faculty members wearing the stars across campus.
Not everyone was impressed by the stunt. Holocaust survivors Max and Rose, now married, told local ABC News affiliate 10 News of the family members they lost in Nazi concentration camps and their perspective on the “Islamophobia” protest. Max called the choice to use the emblematic stars for the political statement “very distressing.” Rose responded, “It’s very insulting. It hurts, because we went through hell.”
USD provided the following statement to 10 News:
As part of a class exploring various means to combat the rising tide of anti-Muslim rhetoric in our nation today, the yellow Star of David, combined with a crescent moon and the word “Muslim,” was used as a learning tool by a USD associate professor of theology and religious studies. It was adapted as a respected symbol of all three Abrahamic faiths of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam to represent unity and solidarity, and it was not intended to make an analogy between discrimination against Muslims and the persecution of Jews in Germany and throughout Europe before the Holocaust. The university acknowledges the historic significance and emotional impact of the use of the yellow star, and the professor regrets the pain and misunderstandings this has caused.
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