The U.S. Army War College has suspended the author of two monographs which critics viewed as apologia for Hamas. Sherifa Zuhur has been suspended 10 days without pay, the Chronicle of Higher Education reports.
Zuhur allegedly threatened to air complaints about her feelings of mistreatment to the Arab Times, an Arab-American newspaper, and she already complained to the Middle East Studies Association. That constituted "a clear threat to attempt to damage the U.S. Army War College's reputation with malicious claims and misinformation for which you can offer no support," an email from her supervisor informing her of the suspension said.
Zuhur has lodged a series of complaints against War College officials, saying they have violated her academic freedom and that she has been subject to intimidation and harassment.
The Chronicle story describes an incident in which Zuhur claimed a college chairman burst into her office and thrust a letter at her so forcefully that she passed out. A witness disputed her account, especially her claim of fainting. In a letter, Zuhur said the school was trying to "torture" her for making the accusation. Zuhur was notified about the suspension by Douglas C. Lovelace Jr, director of the college's Strategic Studies Institute:
"I have never before dealt with such blatant examples of disrespect and contempt for one's supervisors and support staff," he wrote. "Nor have I encountered the level of obstreperousness you display in my 40 years as a supervisor."
Zuhur has made a series of complaints about the college, the Chronicle reported, including claims that she was sexually assaulted by a student, that a colleague generated critical media coverage of her and that administrators failed to accommodate her Muslim religious practices.
Perhaps this behavior should prompt renewed scrutiny on Zuhur's scholarship. In a monograph published in December by Strategic Studies Institute, Zuhur argued that Hamas had walked away from its Charter's call for Israel's destruction and was ready for long-term peace. Among Zuhur's recommendations were calls for the U.S. and Israel to negotiate with Hamas and recognizing what Zuhur called "Hamas' political and strategic development" instead of demonizing the group.
In response to criticism in an article by the Investigative Project on Terrorism, Zuhur submitted a comment accusing IPT of trying to "forbid Americans from engaging in research and writing their own analyses? That will provide a great alternative to the totalitarianism you claim to be fending off."