University of Essex academic dismissed after speaking out against setting up Jewish society

Dr Maaruf Ali also shared material promoting antisemitic conspiracy theories and questioning the Holocaust on Facebook


The University of Essex has dismissed an academic who spoke out against a campus Jewish society and shared material questioning the Holocaust.

Dr Maaruf Ali, a lecturer in computers and electronics, wrote that “the Zionists next want to create a society here at our university” on a Facebook page for new students, as voting was underway on whether a Jsoc should be founded.

The voting prompted a public outcry when it merged more than 200 students, 36 per cent of those who cast ballots, voted no. The student union cancelled the vote and pledged the immediate creation of a Jsoc on campus.

At the time, the Union of Jewish Students (UJS) called for an investigation into Dr Ali and the university confirmed an investigation would take place.

As well as opposing the Jsoc, Dr Ali shared a photo on Facebook which claimed that a French police officer killed in the January 2015 Charlie Hebdo attack was actually “a Mossad agent live and well in Buenos Aires… a crypto-Jew in the service of Israeli intelligence”.

Dr Ali posted to Facebook a quotation attributed to Edgar J Steele, a lawyer notorious for defending white supremacists and for writing a book titled Defensive Racism: An Unapologetic Examination of Racial Differences.

The quote reads: “In all of German Occupied Europe, there resided 2.4 million Jews before the war, according to the world Jewish encyclopedia.

“After the war, 3.8 million Jewish ‘Holocaust survivors’ were receiving pensions from the German government... Tragically, the remaining 6 million were lost.”

In a statement, the university told the JC its investigation “into the serious allegations made against a member of staff” was completed.

“Following a tribunal hearing which considered all the evidence the member of staff has been dismissed,” a spokesperson said.

UJS campaigns organiser Daniel Kosky called the decision “wholly correct".

“Those in positions of responsibility and influence must be held accountable for the environment that they create in lecture halls,” he said.

“We welcome this positive step in creating an inclusive campus environment, and we hope to see the University of Essex continue this work into the future.”

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