Public University Professor Blasts ‘Dirty Jewish Zionist Thugs,’ ‘Homo Lobby,’ and ‘Sluts’

Kaukab Siddique’s inflammatory Facebook wall has his taxpayer-funded college retreating from his statements on women, gay rights, and terrorism.

07.22.15 5:13 AM ET

Kaukab Siddique’s Facebook page is littered with posts decrying the power of the “homo lobby” and “dirty Jewish Zionist thugs.”

One post claims that “no American Muslim is a terrorist.” Another: “Many women are sluts.”

But these aren’t the rantings of an anonymous online troll. Siddique is a tenured professor at Lincoln University, a taxpayer-funded public college in Pennsylvania. And now, the university is publicly distancing itself from the comments of its employee, calling them “an insult to women and other groups singled out.”

Siddique had already come under fire in 2010 for his public statements denying the Holocaust while employed as a professor at Lincoln. These days, he weighs in on pop culture controversies, like the allegations of sexual assault against Bill Cosby.

“The info about [Bill] Cosby is not very surprising,” he wrote on July 8. “Most non-Muslims behave like he did and he also had lots of money. Date rape is common in American universities as the stats show. It’s commonplace in show business. What I can’t understand is why it took so long for the violated women to come out against him,” he wrote.

Siddique, 72, then offered possible explanations for why it took years for the women to step forward.

“Was it:

1. He paid them off.

2. Many women are sluts.

3. American women are slaves of rich men.

4. Random sex is quite acceptable in America.

5. They don’t have families like Muslims do who would take revenge for rape.

I really want to know. These ‘liberated’ women of America have taken 10, 20, even 30 years to complain openly. Why?”

When asked to clarify what he meant by “many women are sluts,” Siddique told The Daily Beast that isolating the phrase is “a little out of context.”

“I was asking my readers what they thought of these five possibilities,” he said. “The reason I was writing five items is because I’m not sure what is going on with American women.”

Siddique is certain about one thing: What Cosby did was “very serious.” But by waiting so long to report, the women largely lost the ability to inflict real damage on him because the statutes of limitations had lapsed.

“I think probably they’re right. Now the question arises why it took them so long,” he added. “I don’t know the answer.” The five distasteful possibilities he proposed, he admitted, are not the only possible explanations.

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Siddique’s comments come on the heels of a controversy over comments about sexual assault made by a member of Lincoln University leadership just months ago. In November of last year, university president Robert Jennings was forced to resign after he said three Lincoln women reported sexual assaults to the police when a sexual experience “didn't turn out the way they wanted it to turn out.”

The school’s acting president, Valerie Houston, vowed to create a “Task Force for Sexual Assault” to “develop recommendations for educational programs” within the college immediately after Jennings’s resignation.

In an interview with The Daily Beast, Siddique questioned using American women as models of liberation when they hesitate to report assault. He said that women accusing Cosby of assault got extensive airtime in a way that Muslim women who want to defend their loved ones against accusations of terrorism do not.

He added that he didn’t mean that most non-Muslims rape people—but rather that he knows, based on sexual assault statistics, that many do.

Siddique’s language is equally sloppy when discussing the scandal surrounding reality show star Josh Duggar. “The homo lobby is taking revenge for the Duggars’ criticism of transgender and homo activity,” he wrote last month.

The professor says the comments are not born of homophobia—“in fact, some of the best students in my class have been gay”—but he thinks that a growing consensus in support of LGBT rights is “creating a new persecuted minority” of those who oppose gay marriage.

He says he’s equally displeased by stories of Christian bakers forced to provide wedding cakes for same-sex marriages. “They are on the war path,” Siddique said of the LGBT community. “These are people who are more or less in power in this country, and the man who is president in this country [and his inner circle] are supporting them.”

Growing acceptance of homosexuality “doesn’t mean you can take away their civil rights,” he said, referring to those who are morally opposed to homosexuality.

Siddique’s public remarks in 2010 calling people “to defeat, to destroy, to dismantle Israel, if possible by peaceful means” drew a sharp response from his employers. Then-university president Ivory Nelson called the remarks “an insult to all decent people.” He added that the school “cannot take action at this time” against Siddique because his comments did not affect his curriculum.

Siddique decried the criticism and said he faced daily threats after the controversy surfaced. “This is actually a concerted act by the extreme right wing aligned with Israel to destroy someone who spoke out against them,” he said. “I see this as a tremendous dumbing down of the discourse.”

But last month, he echoed a similar ideas, while imploring Muslims to “prepare themselves.”

“His latest activities, like his earlier writings, statements and activities, are an insult to women and other groups singled out,” a university spokesperson emailed The Daily Beast. “Dr. Siddique’s statements and assertions are his own, and they in no way represent the views of Lincoln University, its administration, faculty or students.”

“If Zionist Pamela Geller has her way, the racists might try to enter mosques. Muslims should prepare themselves,” he wrote last month about the organizer of Texas’s Draw Muhammad contest. “Don’t be scared of these dirty Jewish Zionist White Supremacist thugs.”

The university distanced itself from Siddique when reached for comment about his latest posts.

“His latest activities, like his earlier writings, statements and activities, are an insult to women and other groups singled out,” a university spokesperson emailed The Daily Beast. “Dr. Siddique’s statements and assertions are his own, and they in no way represent the views of Lincoln University, its administration, faculty or students.”

The spokesperson added: “Like all faculty members, he is entitled to express his personal views in conversation or in public forums, as long as he does not present such opinions as views of the University.”

Lincoln University was founded as a private institution in 1854 and was the United States’ first degree-granting historically black college. U.S. Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall, poet Langston Hughes, and activist Gil Scott-Heron all attended Lincoln.

The college went public in 1972, making it eligible for public money.

Siddique told The Daily Beast that his statements are not meant to be representative of the university, and are made in his capacity as a private citizen.

Siddique’s website shows he teaches journalism and English courses at the university, including a survey of world literature and a class on African Americans in Broadcasting. He also teaches teenage students in required English 101 and 102 classes, which are meant to introduce them to the basics of essay-writing and forming coherent arguments.

The journalism class, according to a syllabus on Siddique’s personal website, includes a week focusing on “Feature writing on sensitive (race/gender/class) issues” and another with writing due “on a controversial issue.”

Siddique’s other online publications concern Islam and his capacity as the editor of a little-known Islamic newsletter. One public post claims “no American Muslim is a terrorist.” Photos of and quotes by al Qaeda cleric Anwar al-Awlaki—in which Siddique has been tagged by Facebook friends—fill up his wall.

Siddique dismisses the al-Awlaki images as a matter of free speech: he thought about untagging, but he decided it was within his friends’ free speech rights to tag him.

The professor is eminently reasonable in conversation. His soft, grandfatherly voice is deliberate, his speech more nuanced, and he shows a tempered frustration with injustice that is lost in vitriolic posts on social media and in the newsletter-style magazine he edits.

The disconnect appears to stem from the 300-level journalism professor’s language being more absolute in his writings on Facebook—all of which were still accessible at press time—than in conversation.

In his interview with The Daily Beast, Siddique disavowed his online claim that “no American Muslim is a terrorist.” Dzhokar Tsarnaev likely carried out the Boston Marathon bombing, he affirms—despite defending the right of individual columnists to claim otherwise in New Trend Magazine, his self-published weekly newsletter.

“In every human situation there are exceptions,” he says. “I would say American Muslims are the most peaceful Muslims in the world.”

The U.S. intelligence community, he says, “has thousands of informants.” He doesn’t see the kids who haven’t carried out any attacks—like those arrested in the recent spate of ISIS-inspired arrests—as terrorists.

Siddique says these arrests provoke a type of outrage that was absent when a U.S. drone killed al-Awlaki’s 16-year-old son Abdulrahman in the Yemeni desert. “That worries me. Even mass murderers get a trial in the United States,” he says.

“If someone speaks in support of terrorists, that doesn’t mean they themselves are terrorists,” he adds, disbelieving that “the most powerful country in the world should be scared of these idiots who try to do this stuff.”

There is a long history of Muslim academics facing scrutiny for their positions on Islam and the West. Oxford University professor Tariq Ramadan, for instance, has been simultaneously revered by the academy for his work on European Islam and reviled by American conservatives for statements that stray askew of a “moderate” Muslim voice. For years, he was denied entry into the United States for giving about $900 to Palestinian aid groups with allegedly questionable ties—which even cost him a tenured professorship at the University of Notre Dame.

Siddique seemed to echo some of Ramadan’s sentiments in his conversation with The Daily Beast: that, for the first time in history, the traditional distinctions of Muslims living in a land of war or a land of Islam do not apply. In America and in Europe, they are free to exercise their rights to freedom or religion and live as they wish in a manner previously unprecedented. And that, of course, requires rethinking old ideas.

Siddique is a member of a Baltimore-based Muslim group called Jamaat al-Muslimeen—the Assembly of Muslims—whose views stray somewhat from what is popularly considered a “moderate” Islam. The Combating Terrorism Center at West Point, for example, said they promote “a radical but disciplined message on jihad.”

“Although JaM explicitly discourages acts of violence by Muslims in the United States, it advances a number of ideological points closely linked to violent radicalism, while excusing virtually all Muslims convicted of terrorism as victims of government persecution,” the CTC report says.

The report adds that JaM contributes to radicalization “by validating core assumptions shared by nearly all homegrown Islamist terrorists.”

Like many Islamist groups across the world, JaM’s focus is less on political activism and more on da’wa—religious education and outreach focusing on its point of view. While JaM’s members are not monolithic in beliefs, “the organization has repeatedly supported armed struggle in overseas theaters commonly associated with Islamist terrorism and extremism,” the report said.

Siddique also edits the weekly newsletter affiliated with the organization—New Trend Magazine—with the disclaimer that views expressed therein do not necessarily reflect the views of the newsletter’s editors. Siddique is the only editor listed on the publication’s website.

One newsletter from this month includes an article by Boston-based activist Karin Friedemann which states that “sodomy is very bad because mixing poopoo germs into the mouth or the vagina is very disgusting and leads to diseases, which could even involve death of a fetus.”

Another issue of New Trend, released after a day of triple terror attacks in France, Kuwait, and Tunisia, called the European attack “bizarre” and decries the terror in Kuwait as “unforgivable.” An unbylined article explains the reasoning:

“No one has asked the Tunisian people if the half naked tourists should be cavorting on the beaches of a Muslim country. Such behavior in [sic] forbidden in Islam. Looks like the assailant was following Osama bin Laden's teaching that economic basis of regimes hostile to Islam should be attacked.

“To avoid violence, the government, if it is a legitimate regime, should ask the people if they want western tourists and if so how should their behavior be regulated.” 

Siddique, himself, believes that terror groups like ISIS did not commit many of the acts it readily admits to: slavery, keeping hundreds of girls and women as concubines, and the mass murder of innocents.

“There are people who have various motivations for saying how bad they are, so that all the bad people go there,” he said, when asked about the terrorist group’s own acknowledgment—and even promotion—of such horrors.

Siddique, however, admits that ISIS and terror groups like it “do terrible things, I’m sure, and they do terrible things to people who do terrible things to other people.”

Killing and plundering, he says, is un-Islamic. When at war, Muslims must at least offer conquered peoples the option of paying a jizya tax to live under Muslim protection, or the chance to convert, he believes.

“I don’t think that anyone has the right to kill people who are innocent,” he told The Daily Beast.

But, like articles in New Trend Magazine, Siddique was still skeptical ISIS has committed the atrocities they have already confessed to.

“I need evidence that anything was done to Yazidis.”

On the phone, Siddique was equally unsure about the reports that ISIS has raped and enslaved women and young girls.

“If they’re doing terrible things to women, what women in their right mind would go to join them?” he asked repeatedly. “All these women who are joining them, are they total idiots? Or zombies?

“I’m sure you’ve met American teenagers,” the professor added. “You can’t fool them. You can’t tell them that evil is good and good is evil.”