Sometime in lat e October 2023, a person calling himself “Penn Jew Against Terrorism” posted a petition on the change.org website under the title “Remove Anti-Semitic Professors from UPenn’s Campus.”
The petition alleged that three faculty members of the University of Pennsylvania – Huda J. Fakhreddine, Associate Professor of Arabic Literature in the Department of Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations (NELC); Fatemeh Shams, Associate Professor of Persian Literature in NELC; and Dr. Ahmad Almallah, an artist-in-residence at Penn’s Creative Writing Program – had made antisemitic remarks at various public events in recent weeks and on Twitter/X. The petition misquoted Prof. Shams, mischaracterized statements by Prof. Almallah, and twisted the message Prof. Fakhreddine delivered. To give just one relevant example, Prof. Fakhreddine is accused of anti-Semitism while in fact her posts say the opposite, which is that to generalize and identify all Jews as a single homogenized group is an anti-Semitic worldview.
We called upon UPenn leaders to publicly denounce the defamation and harassment to which
their faculty members are being subjected, and to do everything in their capacity to protect