A number of Erasmus University officials have protested at the way the university joined forces with Rotterdam city council to sack Tariq Ramadan, an expert on Islam and identity who was a guest lecturer for the past few years.
Ramadan was sacked by Erasmus and from his advisory job at the city council because of his involvement with an Iranian tv programme.
But in acting in tandem with the council, Rotterdam acted ‘against academic freedom’ and had been used by politicians, the academics say in a letter in Saturday’s NRC.
‘It is a politicial decision and we are shocked about it,’ economics professor Arjo Klamer said. Professors can only be sacked if they are suspected of commiting a crime, fail to turn up to do their job or damage the university’s reputation, he said.
Klamer points out in Monday’s Volkskrant that Ramadan is a professor of contemporary Islamic studies at Oxford University where ‘freedom of speech is a fundamental right’.
A spokesman for Erasmus told the paper the university authorities might respond to the allegations on Monday.
Ramadan’s professorship at Erasmus was funded by the city council and his contract was with the city authorities, not the university itself, Ramadan told the Volkskrant in a telephone interview from Morocco.
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