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Woke college’s ‘professor of peace’ ousted over alleged war crimes, antisemitism and sexual misconduct

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The Ohio-based Oberlin College removed a former Iran regime official and religion professor, Mohammad Jafar Mahallati, from his teaching post after a three-year pressure campaign from Iranian Americans who were outraged over his role in covering up the mass murder of at least 5,000 Iranian political prisoners in 1988.

Andrea Simakis, a spokeswoman for the controversial college administration, told Fox News Digital that”Professor Mahallati was placed on indefinite administrative leave on November 28.”

Fox News Digital reported last month that Iran’s former U.N. ambassador, Mahallati, was  being investigated by the U.S. Department of Education Office of Civil Rights for subjecting Jewish students to harassment, including defending the U.S. and EU-designated terrorist organization Hamas.

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Less than a month later, the college scrubbed its website of Mahallati’s profile and deleted a fact sheet, in which the college allegedly whitewashed Mahallati’s reported crimes against humanity, antisemitism and genocidal rhetoric targeting the Baha’i community in Iran. 

Mahallati has reveled in his title as the “Professor of Peace” on the Oberlin campus because of his teachings on peace and friendship.

Photographs viewed by Fox News Digital show the college removed his nameplate from his office. The ostensible ouster of Mahallati marks a stunning admission by Oberlin College President Carmen Twillie Ambar that her three-year defense of Mahallati was no longer tenable. Ambar and her administration have been reeling from a series of Mahallati scandals since 2020, including his alleged endorsement of a fatwa to murder the American-British author Salman Rushdie.

The California-based Alliance Against Islamic Regime of Iran Apologists (AAIRIA) spearheaded the high-intensity campaign to fire Mahallati. Lawdan Bazargan, the lead organizer on the campaign, has crisscrossed the United States and some European countries to draw attention to Mahallati’s reported crimes against humanity.

Iran

“It’s disheartening that it took Oberlin College three years to take this crucial step,” said Bazargan, whose brother Bijan was executed in the 1988 killings. 

“We call upon Oberlin College to not only take these actions but also to meet with the family members of the victims to hear their voices and experiences,” she added.

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Bazargan said, “Furthermore, we urge the college to demonstrate its commitment to justice by creating a memorial for the victims. This is not just about accountability; it’s about honoring the memory of those who suffered in the 1980s and the 1988 massacre and ensuring that such atrocities are never forgotten.”

Simakis refused to comment if Oberlin plans to create a memorial for the victims of the 1988 massacre. The human rights organization Amnesty International issued two reports, including one in February 2023, outlining Mahallati’s alleged role in a vast Iranian regime coverup of the mass murder of 5,000 Iranian political prisoners in 1988. Amnesty International declared that Mahallati “committed crimes against humanity.” 

Mohammad Jafar Mahallati

“This development, however, should not be mistaken for swift or decisive action by Oberlin College,” said Fatemeh Pishdadian of AAIRIA, whose parents were tortured and executed by Iran’s regime in 1981. She added, “It reflects a belated response to pressing demands for truth and justice which continued for years, echoing our call that those who shield the actions of oppressive regimes have no rightful place in our academic institutions.”

Mahallati did not respond to numerous Fox News Digital press queries. The scandal-plagued Mahallati was also rocked by disclosures from Oberlin College graduate Melissa Landa last month on FOX Business that he sexually harassed a student at Columbia University in the 1990s. 

Landa also discussed on FOX Business her 2019 complaint with the Department of Education that sparked the agency’s investigation into allegations of widespread antisemitism on the Oberlin campus.

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US department of education

Fox News Digital obtained the court settlement between Columbia University and the then-32-year-old Palestinian Christian woman who was subjected to alleged sustained sexual harassment by her adjunct professor Mahallati. 

Columbia University did not immediately respond to a press query. She sued both Columbia University and Mahallati.

The 1997 legal suit alleged Mahallati engaged in misconduct by demanding sex in exchange for good grades. Mahallati, who was 43 years old at the time, was married and had a young son. According to the legal documents reviewed by Fox News Digital, “Mahallati “utilized his position as a professor to create and maintain a hostile environment of sexual harassment.” The student asserted at the time that Mahallati “made repeated sexual advances.” 

According to the legal documents, Mahallati “attempted to retaliate against her” after she stopped sexual relations with him. Mahallati “defamed” her and “caused her significant emotional distress,” the documents stated.

Mahallati denied the woman’s accusations in 1997. The court case was settled in 1998 for an undisclosed compensation package to the victim.

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Oberlin College spokeswoman Simakis told Fox News Digital “We learned of the lawsuit filed in the Southern District of New York against Mahallati from a media inquiry sent to us Dec. 5. We would not hire a faculty member whom we knew had a history of sexual assault, harassment, or abuse of anyone, including a student, colleague, or staff member.”

She added, “We will not tolerate sexual offenses at Oberlin. We take all reports of sexual assault, harassment and abuse extremely seriously.”

While Oberlin College faces allegations it tolerates antisemitism and defended Mahallati, the college paid the owners of a local bakery over $36 million, in December 2022, after the bakery was falsely accused of racism by students and members of the school administration.

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