Babson College Professor Asheen Phansey was suspended from his post this week after he made a Facebook status encouraging Iran to list 52 American cultural sites that they would consider bombing. Phansey suggested the Mall of America and the “Kardashian residence” as potential Iranian targets.
According to a report by the New York Post, Babson College Director of Sustainability Asheen Phansey has been suspended by the college over a Facebook post in which he called on Iran to list places in America that it would consider bombing.
Phansey’s post was a response to a message by President Donald Trump in which he said that the United States was targeting 52 Iranian sites in response to threats made by Iranian officials.
“Let this serve as a WARNING that if Iran strikes any Americans, or American assets, we have….targeted 52 Iranian sites (representing the 52 American hostages taken by Iran many years ago), some at a very high level & important to Iran & the Iranian culture, and those targets, and Iran itself, WILL BE HIT VERY FAST AND VERY HARD. The USA wants no more threats!” President Trump tweeted on January 4.
….targeted 52 Iranian sites (representing the 52 American hostages taken by Iran many years ago), some at a very high level & important to Iran & the Iranian culture, and those targets, and Iran itself, WILL BE HIT VERY FAST AND VERY HARD. The USA wants no more threats!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 4, 2020
On Facebook, Phansey ordered Iran to tweet a list of 52 sites of “beloved American cultural heritage” that Iran could bomb. He listed the “Mall of America” and the “Kardashian residence” as potential examples in an attempted dig at American pop culture.
“In retaliation, Ayatollah Khomenei [sic] should tweet a list of 52 sites of beloved American cultural heritage that he would bomb,” Phansey wrote in the post. “Um… Mall of America? Kardashian residence?”
Phansey was almost immediately suspended by Babson College. In a statement, Babson College condemned Phansey’s post, suggesting that they viewed the post as a threat of violence.
“Babson College condemns any type of threatening words and/or actions condoning violence and/or hate,” the college wrote in a statement. “This particular post from a staff member on his personal Facebook page clearly does not represent the values and culture of Babson College.”
In a short apology, Phansey claimed that his post was a poor attempt at humor. He claimed that the Facebook post was not intended to be read as a threat but rather as an attempt to compare American cultural sites with ancient Iranian churches and mosques.
“I regret my bad attempt at humor,” Phansey said in an apology. “As an American, born and raised, I was trying to juxtapose our ‘cultural sites’ with ancient Iranian churches and mosques. I am completely opposed to violence and would never advocate it by anyone. I am sorry that my sloppy humor was read as a threat. I condemn all acts of violence.”