Babson Professor Fired for Joking That Iran Should Target Mall of America

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A Babson College professor was fired last week after joking on social media that Iran should target the Mall of America in retaliation for the killing of Qasem Soleimani.

“In retaliation, Ayatollah Khomeini should tweet a list of 52 sites of beloved American cultural heritage that he would bomb,” Professor Asheen Phansey wrote on Facebook in a post that has since been deleted.

“Um … Mall of America? … Kardashian residence?” he added. According to the Boston Herald, Phansey also served as the school’s director of sustainability.

The Massachusetts-based college announced in a Wednesday statement that Phansey was suspended with pay pending the results of an investigation, which concluded the following day and resulted in Phansey’s termination.

“Babson College conducted a prompt and thorough investigation related to a post shared on a staff member’s personal Facebook page that does not represent the values and culture of the College,” the school said. “Based on the results of the investigation, the staff member is no longer a Babson College employee. As we have previously stated, Babson College condemns any type of threatening words and/or actions condoning violence and/or hate.”

The professor’s comments were made in response to a tweet from President Donald Trump, who claimed that American forces had “targeted 52 Iranian sites.”

“Let this serve as a warning that if Iran strikes any Americans, or American assets, we have targeted 52 Iranian sites (representing the 52 American hostages taken by Iran many years ago), some at a very high level and important to Iran and the Iranian culture, and those targets, and Iran itself, will be hit very fast and very hard,” the president wrote on Twitter.

Phansey apologized for his “bad attempt at humor” in a statement provided to the Boston Herald.

“As an American, born and raised, I was trying to juxtapose our ‘cultural sites’ with ancient Iranian churches and mosques. I am completely opposed to violence and would never advocate it by anyone. I am sorry that my sloppy humor was read as a threat. I condemn all acts of violence,” he said. “I am particularly sorry to cause any harm or alarm for my colleagues at Babson, my beloved alma mater, and the place where I have enjoyed teaching students and serving as its sustainability director.”

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Anthony Gockowski is managing editor of The Minnesota Sun and The Ohio Star. Follow Anthony on Twitter. Email tips to anthony.gockowski@gmail.com.
Photo “Asheen Phansey” by Asheen Phansey.

 

 

 

 

 

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