Justice Minister and UCC President back Muslim lecturer at centre of sinister 'execution' call

Justice Minister and UCC President back Muslim lecturer at centre of sinister 'execution' call
Amanullah De Sondy

The respected Muslim lecturer who received a sinister voicemail calling for his execution says he takes huge encouragement from all the messages of support which include a phone call from Justice Minister Charlie Flanagan and a strong statement from the President of UCC.

The Minister phoned Amanullah De Sondy, a University College Cork (UCC) lecturer in contemporary Islam, this afternoon to express solidarity in the wake of the chilling incident.

Mr De Sondy revealed on Twitter last night that he received a voicemail in which the caller described him as a “scumbag” and “a terrorist” who “must stop lecturing the Irish on how they should live their life”. The most chilling aspect was that the caller said: “I hope you are executed”.

Mr De Sondy received a similar message in 2017 but insisted that he would not be intimidated by the latest incident. Detectives are investigating the latest incident.

As a group of up to 50 college staff and friends gathered in UCC’s Quad around lunchtime today to express solidarity with Mr De Sondy, Mr Flanagan phoned him directly.

“I felt quite moved that he would call me, to offer solidarity and support,” Mr De Sondy said.

They discussed hate crime legislation and the government’s commitment to equality, diversity and inclusion and Mr De Sondy said he felt hugely reassured afterwards that the country is moving in the right direction.

UCC President Dr Patrick O’Shea, has also written to all staff today saying they will not let ignorant and dangerous prejudices block the path of progress.

“Equality, diversity and inclusion are at the cornerstone of UCC’s values,” he said. “Support for diversity is not just a good idea, it is a necessary idea.

“Diversity nurtures the fertile fields in which great ideas grow. Therefore, we rededicate ourselves to support Dr De Sondy and all others who experience hatred in their daily lives.

“At UCC we will continue to welcome those who seek to learn and pursue the search for knowledge, understanding and truth.

“Certain inequalities are historically entrenched, and so changing hearts, minds and policies is not always easy.

By being active as Dr De Sondy is in the public square, we must firmly push back against these prejudices and inform and educate as he and others have been doing.

“One of the core graduate attributes identified by our Academic Strategy is to create effective, global citizens who recognise, challenge and eliminate inequality.

“We are dedicated to put equality and inclusion at the centre of the decisions we make, and the ways we relate to each other.

“We are committed to promoting an ethos of diversity of thought, equality and inclusion in everything we do in promoting a vibrant, culturally competent community within, and around UCC.”

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