A Muslim lecturer in UCC has said he will not be intimidated after receiving a threatening voicemail labelling him a “terrorist” and calling for him to be “executed”.
Amanullah De Sondy is senior lecturer in contemporary Islam and received the threatening voicemail to his office phone at the university. He received a similar voicemail in 2017.
Mr De Sondy highlighted the most recent incident on his Twitter account and has reported the matter to the gardaí.
“I received a horrible voice message on my university office phone today calling me a ‘scumbag, a terrorist’ who ‘must stop lecturing the Irish on how they should live their life’ and the most chilling ‘I hope you are executed’,” he tweeted.
Mr De Sondy said he was “very proud” to work in UCC and in Cork and he would not be intimidated by hate.
“It was a horrible message calling me a terrorist, a scumbag and a racist. I think this person associates these atrocities with Islam and Muslims. I am an academic. I want to teach people to think. I am not an imam. I teach at a secular university. I teach young people to think, question and critically analyse ideas. We don’t spoonfeed religion or ethics or morality. That must be scary for these bigots,” he said.
Mr De Sondy said he had not spoken about the previous hate message he received in 2017 but praised both UCC and the gardaí for supporting him at that time.
“When it happened in 2017, I must say, the university was brilliant. They immediately moved to support me. I had a phone with a caller ID installed. The Gardaí were also excellent at the time.” he said.
Mr De Sondy, who has been lecturing at UCC since 2015, said it was important for Irish society to engage and talk about issues around hate and said the positivity and enthusiasm of his students gave him hope for the future.
“We need to reflect on hate of all kinds whether its Islamaphobia, homophobia or the treatment of any minority. If it is happening to me, someone with a level of privilege, imagine being in the shoes of an immigrant or a woman wearing a headscarf. These things matter. We are all in this together. Anyone on the margins has to respond and stay strong.” he said.
UCC said it has “a duty of care to its staff and will be examining this matter with the staff member”.