A professor of Islamic studies fired by the municipality of Rotterdam and stripped of his chair at the city’s Erasmus University is taking legal action to demand an apology from the two institutions.
Professor Tariq Ramadan, 46, was this summer sacked as Rotterdam’s integration advisor after it emerged he was hosting a weekly discussion programme on Iran’s state broadcaster Press TV. The municipality deemed that the controversy surrounding the revelation disqualified the Swiss-Egyptian professor to lead public discussions in Rotterdam regarding religious identity and free marriage. The city also stopped financing his chair at Erasmus University. Professor Ramadan had been at the center of previous controversy. In April the conservative VVD party withdrew from the city council accusing the Islam expert of homophobic and misogynous views. A majority of the city council continued to back the professor at the time.