Censoring Thought has obtained a letter, included below, signed by
    twenty former students of Professor Joseph Massad, stating that the
    claims made by Deena Shanker that Professor Massad told her to
    leave his class if she was going to deny Israeli atrocities are
    unequivocally false.  The letter, sent to the Columbia administration,
    states in clear terms that the signers were in the class at the time,
    that the alleged incident never happened, and that the Ad Hoc
    Grievance Committee's findings regarding the event are

    Though the Ad Hoc Grievance Committee did not solicit the testimony
    of these students (many of whom have graduated and some of whom
    are abroad), and was faced with competing claims by three students
    (only two of whom were actually registered and another who was
    allegedly visiting for the day) against a professor and three other
    students, it oddly found Shanker's claim "credible." With the release of
    this letter, twenty-three students who were verifiably present during
    the class in question have now come out to deny the charge and
    exonerate Dr. Massad.

    We at Censoring Thought hope this will also clear his name and
    prevent any further attacks upon his character or his career. We also
    encourage the Columbia University administration to take more vigorous
    steps to defend its faculty against the persistent harassment and
    intimidation that has culminated in these baseless charges.

    The Letter:

    May 3, 2005

    President Bollinger, Provost Brinkley, Vice-President Dirks:

    We the undersigned are deeply disturbed by the baseless
    accusations by Deena Shanker that Professor Joseph Massad
    acted inappropriately in a classroom discussion by raising his voice
    to her and telling her to leave his classroom.  Unfortunately, this
    allegation has been affirmed by the report of the ad hoc committee,
    which deems it “credible,” and by President Bollinger's public
    statements of 1 April 2005 on WNYC radio.

    We thus write to you in order to set the record straight and to
    exonerate Professor Massad from these unjust indictments. In order
    to correct these highly damaging factual errors, we avow the

    - That each of us was present during the Spring 2002 class
     referred to by Deena Shanker in her accusations and by the Ad
     Hoc Committee in its report.

    - That these accusations by Deena Shanker are unequivocally false
     and that the findings of the Ad Hoc Committee pertaining to them
     are incorrect.

    - That Professor Massad did not in any way order or even suggest
     to any student that she should leave his class, nor did he raise his
     voice to the student or react “heatedly” to her claims regarding the
     actions of the Israeli Defense Forces.

    - That Professor Massad consistently treated his students with
     respect and always adhered to a policy of encouraging students
     to participate in the class actively in classroom discussion and to
     think critically about the course materials.

    In light of our testimony, we call upon you to acknowledge these
    facts and defend Professor Joseph Massad against these
    erroneous charges and the finding that Shanker's claim is


    Khalil Al-Salem, CC 2004
    Charlotte Anne Wurzburg Watts, CC 2004
    Alison Winfield, GS 2005
    Graham Moore, CC 2003
    Peter Herger, CC 2003
    Alden Young, CC 2004
    Nihal Godiwala, CC 2002
    Benjamin Joseph Bishop, GSAS 2001-2002
    Fabian Chrobog, CC 2002
    Michelle Kagan, BC 2004
    Madiha R. Tahir, BC 2003
    Katherine Logan M. McBride, BC 2004
    Jill Pasquarella, BC 2004
    Mary Catherine Ford, GS 2008
    Danielle Friedman [Visiting Student], Brown 2004
    Nadim El Gabbani, CC 2003
    Alfredo Zaragoza, GS 2004
    K. Cyrus Habib, CC 2003
    Wasim Salfiti, CC 2003
    Layal Bulbul, CC 2005

A forum for empowerment
Find out more about the
claim, the Ad Hoc Report,
and history of
harassment against Dr.

Dr. Massad's Statement
to the Ad Hoc Grievance


Dr. Massad's Response
to the Ad Hoc Grievance
Committee Report


NYCLU Calls Ad Hoc
Report Inadequate


Read the Ad Hoc
Grievance Committee
Report's Findings of a
Systematic Campaign to
Intimidate and Harass
Columbia Faculty



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