A lecturer in Essex who reportedly shared a Holocaust denial post on Facebook has been suspended while an investigation into his social media activity is carried out.
Dr Maaruf Ali, computer and electronics lecturer at the University of Essex, opposed the creation of a Jewish Society on campus this week.
He is being investigated after a torrent of antisemitic posts was discovered this week, including one denying the Holocaust and another appearing to call for Jihad.
Among the posts discovered, one read: “In all of German-occupied Europe, there resided 2,4 million Jews before the war, according to the World Jewish Encyclopedia.
“After the war, 3.8 million Jewish “Holocaust survivors” were receiving pensions from the German government.
“Tragically, the remaining six million were lost.”
Professor Anthony Foster, vice-chancellor, said: “To see the University of Essex associated with antisemitism has been a deeply shocking event and one which has filled me with great sadness.
“Antisemitism is antithetical to the values of the University of Essex and has no place at our university. We have a zero tolerance policy to harassment and hate crime which is at the very core of our values and beliefs.
“We are proud to subscribe to the working definition of antisemitism produced by the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance.
“Recent events have shown me we still have work to do, and I am announcing a series of immediate actions to tackle all forms of antisemitism within our community.”
In a statement, the University of Essex said it would carry out “an independent investigation of allegations against a member of staff, and whilst this takes place they have been suspended”.
The statement says: “Antisemitism has no place at the University of Essex
“Specific actions announced by our chancellor include a commitment to ensuring that the Jewish Society is created by the University of Essex, irrespective of any ratification by the Student Union.
“The immediate launch of a review to ensure that we provide unequivocal support to our Jewish students and staff.”
The University of Essex also said it would be holding a public event next Thursday at 1pm in support of the Jewish community.
In a statement, the Union of Jewish Students said it “welcomes the University of Essex vice chancellor’s condemnation of antisemitism.
“We commend the swift, strong and supportive action taken, including suspension of the staff member in question and a full investigation.
“Assurances of the establishment of a Jewish society regardless of the vote are most welcome.
“There is still certainly a long way to go until antisemitism is eradicated from university campuses, but we are heartened that these steps will make a significant impact on improving the lives of Jewish students at the University of Essex.”
St John Ambulance Service, where Ali was a volunteer, has also suspended him and announced they would be “investigating” him internally.
A St John Ambulance spokesperson said: ‘The views expressed in these posts on a personal social media account are that of the individual and not of St John Ambulance.
“The individual has been suspended and the allegations will be investigated internally in accordance with our policies and procedures.
“As an inclusive organisation, we expect all volunteers to treat each other and others with humanity and respect and these values are reflected in our volunteer charter.”
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