A college professor in Dallas, Texas, has resigned under pressure following controversial in-class remarks he made about Islam. Prior to his departure, Paul Derengowski, a philosophy teacher at Tarrant County College, had instructed a few philosophy and religion courses at the local college.
Two Muslim students who were in one of these courses apparently went to college administrators to complain about commentary and instruction that they found immensely offensive. The students claimed that Derengowski called Islam a cult and that he had posted “inflammatory” images on his web site.
Below, see a screen shot of his site (Islam, among other faith systems, is listed as a “cult”):
Now, following his resignation, Derengowski wants his job back. However, he apparently isn’t willing to comply with requirements that he stop holding a biased view in the classroom.
In an interview with KDFW-TV, he was open about his Christian faith as well as his anti-Islamic views. In describing his web site he said, “I am defending the Christian faith. Christians are not supposed to stand by and just let that go. So that’s what you see on my website.”
Additionally, he maintained that he doesn’t believe that professors can truly remain neutral in the classroom, though he admitted that this is a common expectation. He says that the Muslim students involved in this situation are attempting to ruin his reputation and that they are lying about him.
In addressing the claims that he’s a bigot, he flatly denounced the assertion. “A bigot is somebody who doesn’t look at the information,” he said. “They’ve got their mind made up. Nobody’s gonna change their mind come hell or high water.”
Watch Derengowski make these claims on KDFW, below:
And here’s a longer version of the report:
Derengowski posted an extremely long letter (13 pages) on his web site, announcing his resignation and calling the students’ actions a “terroristic act of jihad.” In the text, he published the students’ names associated with the incident and defended himself against attacks he’s been sustaining as a result of their complaints. He made it clear that he feels it was the students who deserved reprimand.
“Instead, the administration became complicit in Randa and Mohamad’s terroristic actions,” he wrote. “My motives were impure, because it is not the role of an educator to warn anybody about the pitfalls and dangers of cult recruitment. Forget what Randa and Mohamad did, which clearly violated the student code of conduct. The professor is the problem; let’s get rid of him,” he continued.
Derengowski also wrote that the male student involved in the case had an in-class outburst that led him to file a police report. Additionally, he claimed that the female student had sent out an e-mail that he called a “character assassination.” The male student now says he feels unsafe because his name was published online.
In the conclusion to his epic resignation letter, Derengowski’s words became even more intense:
To Randa Bedair and Mohamad Khorchid, your actions betray your true characters. Not only did you act shamefully, despicably, recklessly, and carelessly, you provided the perfect illustration of what happens to those who really and truly follow Islamic principles. Lying, cheating, and stealing all for the sake of Allah. Surely you must be proud. My heart breaks for you.
The female issued a statement to FOX 4, saying, “I am a proud American and I have the right, just as any other student in the classroom, to learn what is deserved to be taught, not based off one’s hateful opinions. And certainly, have the utmost right to not feel uncomfortable sitting in a classroom which my tax dollars pay for.”
The college has been quiet about the incident, claiming that officials are still exploring the complaints.
(H/T: FOX 4)