Home TMU News UPDATED: Ryerson TA dismissed for anti-Semitic comments

UPDATED: Ryerson TA dismissed for anti-Semitic comments

by Justin Bellmore

A teaching assistant in Ryerson’s faculty of engineering and architectural science no longer works for the university after he made anti-Semitic comments at a downtown Toronto mosque last summer.

Ayman Elkasrawy had called for the purification of the “Al-Aqsa Mosque from the filth of Jews.”

Ryerson University President Mohamed Lachemi said in a statement that the university became aware of the situation “a week ago” and “has taken appropriate action.” A full version of Lachemi’s statement is available here.

According to a video, which has since been removed, posted online by the Masjid Toronto mosque, Elkasrawy said the following. It has been translated from Arabic:

“O Allah! Destroy anyone who killed Muslims. O Allah! Destroy anyone who displaced the sons of the Muslims. O Allah! Count their number; slay them one by one and spare not one of them. O Allah! Purify Al-Aqsa Mosque from the filth of the Jews! O Allah! Purify Al-Aqsa Mosque from the filth of the Jews!”

Elkasrawy tweeted an apology in February. Masjid Toronto has also apologized. Toronto Police are looking into the incident.

In an email, vice-provost of faculty affairs Saed Zolfaghari said, “if [teaching assistants] engage in discussions or activities outside of the university, they are obliged to do so in a manner that does not reflect adversely on or be to the detriment of the university.”

Aedan O’Connor, a member of Hillel Ryerson — a Jewish student group — had put up about 150 posters around campus demanding the dismissal of Elkasrawy a week before he was dismissed.

O’Connor said she was later confronted by an individual identifying himself as Ryerson security, who took down some of her posters and returned them to her.

“At first he told me I couldn’t leave them up because they weren’t stamped by RSU,” O’Connor said. “Then when I mentioned that half of the posters on the board didn’t have the stamp, he just said ‘they were too controversial.’”

In an email, Ryerson security services confirmed that the individual mentioned above was not a member of its staff. While they received notification about controversial posters on campus, they said custodial staff had removed them before anyone from security arrived.

Human resources for facility management declined to comment on the matter as there was no way to identify him without a third party or video footage.

This article may have been created with the use of AI software such as Google Docs, Grammarly, and/or Otter.ai for transcription.

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