A clinical psychologist and professor who teaches a mandatory diversity class at George Washington University allegedly created a hostile environment that promoted violence against civilians, according to a complaint filed with the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Civil Rights.
Dr. Lara Sheehi sits on the board of the USA-Palestine Mental Health Network and practices clinically from “a trans-inclusive feminist and liberation theory model.” She “works on race and white supremacy,[and] decolonial struggles.”
In one instance raised in the civil rights complaint – Dr. Lara Sheehi – while teaching a course about “diversity awareness” and to “sensitize future therapists to biases” – allegedly verbally attacked a student as they spoke about terrorist attacks in Israel which have killed civilians, including American citizens.
Sheehi “took offense at the student’s use of the term ‘terrorist attack,’” the complaint, which was first reported by the Washington Free Beacon, said. “The professor then claimed that the student’s comment invoked Islamophobia even though the student never mentioned Palestinians, Arabs, or Muslims in her comment.”
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Dr. Sheehi also brought in a speaker who “advocated violence against Israelis—and by extension Jews,” the complaint said.
One Jewish student said they were “crying,” and feeling “deeply unsettled and unsafe” after the speaker was brought in.
According to the complaint, when a student told Sheehi they felt “unsafe in a program that would invite a speaker who endorsed violence against Israeli civilians and who, therefore, may celebrate the murder of her Israeli relatives. In response, Professor Sheehi called the student’s comment a ‘damaging Islamophobic anti-Palestinian’ comment and added that ‘a stone is nothing compared to an army.’”
“[T]he fact of the matter is that a speaker was brought in [by Sheehi] that advocated violence against Israelis—and by extension Jews—and that is antisemitic, yet is being explained away,” the student said.
The complaint said the professor retaliated against them when they made complaints to the university.
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Sheehi did not immediately respond to a request for comment and George Washington did not immediately answer whether the diversity professor was stripped of academic duties as its own internal investigation begins. However, they referred Fox News to a statement which claimed they were “committed to fostering a welcoming and inclusive environment where all feel safe and free of harassment, hostility or marginalization.”
Americans as well as civilians in Israel have been targeted with terror attacks funded by Palestinian groups like Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad. In one of the most infamous terror attacks – the Sbarro restaurant suicide bombing – was planned by mastermind Ahlam al-Tamimi.
Tamimi carefully planned how to kill as many victims and children and escorted a suicide bomber to the scene.
The family of an American teenager killed in the attack – Malki Roth – continues to fight for Tamimi to be extradited from Jordan to face justice in the United States.
In other cases, Hamas terrorists would include shrapnel in the bombs that were dipped with rat poison – an anticoagulant – to ensure that victims’ struck by the metal expunged in the blast would continue to bleed out, increasing the likelihood of death.
“Hamas has long sought to increase the lethality of its attacks by lacing shrapnel attached to its suicide bombs with chemicals,” said a report from the Washington Institute for Near East Policy.
Sheehi is being represented by the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee.
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In a statement, they said Sheehi was “being wrongfully accused of discrimination and antisemitism” due to “a larger campaign that is politically and ethnically motivated against Dr. Sheehi because of her scholarship and political activism outside the classroom.”
“We understand that these claims would otherwise not have resulted in such an exaggerated and prejudicial response by [George Washington], nor would they have found traction in public opinion if Dr. Sheehi were not Arab and her scholarship and activism were not focused on Palestine. These slander campaigns, intended to silence dissenting voices, are rooted in anti-Arab and anti-Palestinian racism, a form of racism that silences, excludes, erases, stereotypes, defames, and dehumanizes Arabs and their narratives.”