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November 1, 2018 4:35 pm

Howard University Distances Itself From Professor Who Claimed Pittsburgh Synagogue Massacre Was ‘Strictly Political’, Not Hate Crime

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Abeer Kayed speaks on Al-Araby TV channel, Oct. 28, 2018. Photo: Screenshot.

Howard University in Washington, DC, has dissociated itself from a former faculty member who claimed that the Pittsburgh synagogue massacre was a “strictly political” attack, as opposed to a hate crime.

Abeer Kayed — a former political science instructor at Howard — suggested that “the media is trying to distort the reason for the motive” behind Saturday’s shooting, in which 11 Jewish worshipers were killed at the Tree of Life Synagogue by gunman Robert Bowers, who had a history of posting antisemitic messages on social media and reportedly yelled, “All Jews must die,” during the assault.

“If we examine what motivated Robert Bowers to carry out this terrorist attack, we see that he had written on his social media pages that he wanted to take revenge upon Jews, because Jewish societies help the convoy of immigrants — Latinos and others — get to the United States,” Kayed said in an interview on Sunday with Al-Araby TV, according to a translation by the DC-based Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI). “The motive is strictly political, so why does the media turn it into hatred?”

“This issue has to do with American public opinion and American Jews, and it will be dealt with in a completely different manner — first of all because of the power of the Zionist lobby here, and also because of the historical significance of the role of the Jews in American life,” she said. “This is why there is more sympathy towards them, as if they get the credit for the existence of the United States.”

Following several complaints by members of the Howard community, the school’s Provost and Chief Academic Officer Anthony Wutoh affirmed that Kayed “is not currently a faculty member at Howard University, and has not been since January 2017.”

“Ms. Kayed has made several comments regarding the recent tragedy in Pittsburgh that are not consistent with our values as an institution,” he said. “The University does not condone her remarks, nor is she a spokesperson representing Howard University.”

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