Western University has parted ways with a Muslim chaplain over “divisive” social media comments about Israel.
The London, Ont. university distanced itself from Sh. Aarij Anwer after an exchange between the chaplain and former Conservative senator Linda Frum on X, formerly Twitter.
When Frum condemned a pro-Hamas rally in Toronto that planned to glorify “martyrs,” Anwer accused Frum of lying and denied that Hamas had beheaded babies or raped girls.
“Stop spreading lies of beheading babies or rape of little girls. It’s been debunked,” claimed Anwer. “No one is celebrating the murder of Israeli babies, Palestinians are mourning the death of their babies.”
He added that he found it “incredible how Israel sympathizers simultaneously are the oppressor and the victim.”
In a statement posted Thursday, Western president Alan Shepard and equity, diversity and inclusion associate vice-president Opiyo Oloya said Anwer, who served ina “volunteer capacity” would no longer be associated with the university.
They said his comments do not align with the university’s commitment to peaceful and respectful dialogue. As a result, Anwer “will no longer serve in this volunteer position.”
They added that “Western steadfastly supports our Palestinian, Muslim, Jewish and Israeli communities” and is “committed to fostering an environment where all members of our community can feel safe, welcomed, heard, and supported.”
This commitment is jeopardized when “divisive” statements are made by those in positions of leadership.
As it seeks a new Muslim chaplain, Western says it will “ensure our Muslim and Palestinian community members feel our support and can share their thoughts.”
This is not just the only anti-Zionist incident to take place at Western in the past week. There were also several cases of posters of Israelis kidnapped by Hamas that were vandalized by pro-Palestinian students on campus.
True North asked Western to comment on the matter, but the university did not respond.
Anwer also did not return a request for comment.