In January I reported here at PJ Media on U.S. Army War College (USAWC) professor Sherifa Zuhur’s paean to the terrorist group Hamas, “Hamas and Israel: Conflicting Strategies of Group-Based Politics,” published by USAWC’s Strategic Studies Institute (SSI). In her monograph she claims that Hamas had “evolved” beyond their 1988 covenant calling for the destruction of Israel and the eventual murder of all Jews by Muslims, and that that Hamas has been misunderstood due to the misreporting by “Israeli and Western sources that villainize the group.”
I followed up that article last month with a report about the ongoing controversy between Zuhur and USAWC over their refusal to renew her contract. Last June she enlisted the support of Middle East Studies Association (MESA) president Mervat Hatem, who sent a letter to USAWC Commandant LTG Robert Williams repeating claims by Zuhur that she had been harassed and her academic freedoms had been infringed by USAWC.
I observed that Zuhur’s grievance-mongering with USAWC was merely a repeat performance of her claims of censorship and discrimination when her contract with the American University of Cairo (AUC) was not renewed in 2000. In that case, she had filed a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission claiming discrimination by AUC on the basis of gender and national origin. The EEOC found that her complaint had no basis and closed the case. She then took her case public by encouraging a letter-writing campaign directed at AUC leadership by fellow academics and ideological supporters. She then began a hunger strike in protest of the decision by the AUC Faculty Senate denying her appeal. Her efforts to win a contract renewal from AUC were unsuccessful and she wandered through several low-level academic positions before being hired by USAWC.
Last Wednesday the Chronicle of Higher Education reported Sherifa Zuhur had been suspended by USAWC beginning this week. According to the Chronicle, her suspension is the result of several incidents of professional misconduct, including threatening the school with forwarding her complaints, along with the MESA president’s letter and another letter sent to USAWC by the Council on American-Islamic Relations’ Pennsylvania chapter on her behalf, to the Arab Times.
Zuhur has also made a series of complaints against USAWC claiming sexual harassment, failing to accommodate her religious practices, and that SSI department chairman Steven Metz physically threatened her during a confrontation in her office, prompting her to faint. Unfortunately for her, a witness present during the incident involving Metz contradicted her account. A comment left on my last PJ Media article purportedly from Sherifa Zuhur included accusations that Metz and SSI staff had been responsible for my article (for the record, I have not had any direct communication with Metz or SSI officials).