Islam-pushing prof gets FFRF attention

Professor Daoud Nassimi’s “Introduction to Islam” course crosses the line from objective religious teaching to proselytization, said a recent complaint letter from FFRF to Northern Virginia Community College in Annandale.

“[T]his class has been used to proselytize students and advance belief in the existence of a god in an attempt to prove religious belief correct,” wrote Staff Attorney Patrick Elliott and Legal Fellow Katherine Paige.

An audio recording and PowerPoint slides from a lecture show that Nassimi’s class is “a one-sided monologue by a government-paid employee whose agenda is to show the truth of religion—namely, the existence of a god.”

Nassimi also has belittled atheists and other nonbelievers. When one student expressed concern on the class website, Nassimi responded, “The reality is that science does not offer any support for the claims of those who deny God, but they are using science as a cover to hide their agenda. Please note that this course is ‘Introduction to Islam.’ So, I will be offering Islam’s position and views all along the semester, whether anyone likes it or not.”

In one lecture, he called people who deny God’s existence “worse than animals,” because they have human intelligence and still “[go] so low and wild to deny the source of their own existence.”

“The primary legal issue with this class is Prof. Nassimi’s active promotion of his personal religious views. This is not a question of Prof. Nassimi’s free speech—Prof. Nassimi is abusing his government position,” wrote FFRF. “Given his inability to separate his teaching duties from his religious sensibilities, we fail to see how he can conduct a collegiate course on Islam or religion.”

An attorney for the Virginia Community College System responded, saying it was conducting a review.

Freedom From Religion Foundation