German Maths Professor Fired Over Islam Criticism

LONDON, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 01: A teacher writes an equation on a whiteboard during a maths lesson at a secondary school on December 1, 2014 in London, England. Education funding is expected to be an issue in the general election in 2015.
Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images

A mathematics professor at a German university was fired after he gave students problems to solve in class critical of Islam.

The Berlin School of Economics and Law (HWR) and the University of Applied Sciences (HTW) have both distanced themselves from mathematics lecturer Wolfang Hebold after complaints from students that he had used mathematical problems that were critical of Islam in his statistic courses. The HWR said Hebold had published, “discriminatory, xenophobic and misogynistic forum entries,” Junge Freiheit reports.

According to one student in Berlin the professor had made them calculate the relationship between Muslim populations and suicide bombings saying “we were to calculate the statistical relationship between the number of terrorist attacks and the proportion of Muslims in the population.” Students were also asked to calculate the rate of female genital mutilation in Egypt.

On his blog Hebold published more critical remarks about Islam, such as one on women who don the full face veil saying: ” If a woman does not want to show that she is a woman – why should you still regard them as a woman?”

He wrote that women who cover themselves from head to toe may be thought of not as women or men, but rather as some neutral being since there was no way to tell who they were.

The initial investigation into the professor was made by Berlin based broadcaster RBB.  Hebold said that the broadcaster had taken his work out of context and told media: “I have a feeling that what I wanted to say was viciously twisted by RBB.”

Echoing statements made by some in the anti-mass migration Alternative for Germany (AfD) Party he said: “I’m anti-Islamic as I am also anti-communist and anti-fascist. Political Islam is a problem, but I’m not racist.”

In the RBB investigation Hebold defended his use of Islam-critical scenarios saying that it wasn’t his job to make sure that no one in his class was offended and that he chose situations that were “relevant in everyday life.”

Sam S., a now former student of Hebold and the son of an Egyptian mother, said he was outraged by the statistical scenarios as well as the comments Hebold had posted online. He claimed that the remarks toward fully-veiled women were, “completely racist,” and said that as the son of an Egyptian he felt personally attacked.

Another university professor found himself in the same kind of trouble back in February when he made positive statements online about the PEGIDA protest movement.  University of Leipzig professor Thomas Raucher posted his support for the group on twitter and students and faculty both attempted to remove him from his position citing ‘Islamophobia’.

Islamophobia has led to the sacking of many from their jobs and has been used as a tool by Muslim groups to put pressure on freedom of expression.

Earlier this month the Muslim Council of Britain, who have links to the Muslim Brotherhood, attempted to pressure the Conservatives to launch an inquiry into statements made by their candidate for mayor Zac Goldsmith. Goldsmith said that Mayor Sadiq Khan had shared a platform with a well known radical Imam several times in the past.

Trevor  Phillips, the man who popularised the term Islamophobia, said last month that he regretted the power that the term now exerts and admitted he had “got almost everything wrong,” when it came to Muslim mass migration and the failure of Muslim integration.


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