An assistant professor at Indiana State University (ISU) was arrested on Friday for making false reports to the police. Azhar Hussain faces a felony charge of obstruction of justice and a misdemeanor charge of harassment. He was booked into Vigo County Jail on Friday, and is scheduled for an appearance in Vigo County Superior Court today. The aviation technology professor has been suspended from his duties at the university.
According to the university, a series of anti-Muslim emails were received by faculty and students containing threats of potential violence against members of ISU’s Muslim community. The first of the reported emails were received on March 8, and directly mentioned Hussain. On March 24, the professor tells the police he had been attacked. In his report, he stated he was jumped from behind as he entered his office that morning. He said he was thrown to the floor but did not see his attacker, and his attacker didn’t speak. At the time of the attack, four people in the same vicinity could not corroborate his account and noticed no suspicious activity or people.
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Investigators, working with the FBI, determined that the threatening emails originated from Hussain’s computer on the ISU campus. After speaking with the university, they learned that the professor had been notified before the email reports that he would be let go from his faculty position after the 2017-2018 academic year. The ISU chief of police stated,
Based upon the investigation, it is our belief that Hussain was trying to gain sympathy by becoming a victim of anti-Muslim threats, which he had created himself. It is extremely unfortunate that this situation caused undue concern on other members of the ISU community.
In condensed form, a Muslim professor emailed false anti-Muslim threats against himself and others on campus. Around two weeks later, he placed a false police report of a physical attack. He terrified Muslim professors and students because he thought playing the victim would help him keep his job. He had school officials and police being extra vigilant and placed more work on them to keep up his lies. Unbelievable.
Playing the victim card because you can is unimaginative and lazy at best. Preying on people’s fears and catering to prejudices only further perpetuates negative stereotypes of Muslims. The Islamophobes will use a story like this to say that the professor is just one more bad Muslim. They will post it far and wide when a person is actually the victim of a vicious hate-crime and use it as “proof” that they are lying. Because that’s what the right does, they use one person’s stupidity and uses that as a reason to hate millions of people. And often times the left will ignore douchebags who do this because we don’t want to acknowledge that there are some ignorant, selfish people on our side. However, in my opinion, we have to call people like Hussain out and be clear: his lies don’t prove hate crimes aren’t real, instead it proves that people are assholes when they are desperate regardless of their gender, religion or profession.