UCC lecturer Amanullah De Sondy, who was the victim of an abusive and racist voicemail, which called him a terrorist and said he should be executed, received a call from Minister for Justice and Equality Charlie Flanagan today.
Mr De Sondy, who has been lecturing at UCC since 2015, tweeted to say he received a call from the Minister for Justice and Equality Charlie Flanagan today in which he said they discussed hate crime legislation and the government's commitment to equality & diversity.
The President of University College Cork (UCC) also publicly responded to Mr De Sondy on Twitter to emphasis the college would be supporting him when faced with “ignorant shameful hate.”
“You are a courageous friend, and a wonderful scholar and educator. We are honoured to have you as a colleague,” Dr Patrick O’Shea wrote on the social media platform.
The Head of UCC also sent an email to all UCC staff regarding the abusive email in which he outlined the college’s obstinant defiance of what he called “ignorant and dangerous prejudices.” “Equality, diversity and inclusion are at the cornerstone of UCC’s values,” Dr O’Shea wrote in an email to all UCC staff members which he also shared on Twitter.
“At UCC we continue to welcome those who seek to learn and pursue the search for knowledge, understanding and truth.” The UCC President commended Mr De Sondy for his use of social media in tackling the abuse he received.
“By being active as Dr De Sondy is in the public square, we must firmly push back against these prejudices and inform and educate as he and others have been doing.” Finally, Dr O’Shea said: “We are committed to promoting an ethos of diversity of thought, equality and inclusion in everything we do in promoting a vibrant, culturally competent community within and around UCC.”
On Wednesday afternoon Mr De Sondy took to Twitter in response to a vile voicemail he received to his college phone number.
Mr De Sondy tweeted: “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’.”
The incident, which has been reported to the Gardaí, was picked up by a number of national and regional news outlets and has sparked a great deal of support for the lecturer of contemporary Islam.
Executive Director of Amnesty International Ireland Colm O’Gorman tweeted the UCC lecturer to say: “Solidarity and best wishes. Vile stuff. I honestly believe that the best way to counter such hate is with love. Keep doing what you are doing, it's great to see all the support and appreciation coming your way.”
As well as high profile figures, former students have also chimed in to add their support of their “favourite” lecturer.
“I had @desondy for many first-year religion lectures in UCC, definitely my favourite lecturer, enthusiastic and funny every day, made every lecture interesting and entertaining.. disgusting to see such idiotic racist verbal attacks against an amazing character, no place for it,” Aaron Daly wrote.