William Paterson University: Punishment on Harassment Charges for Response to Mass E-Mail

Category: Due Process, Free Speech
Schools: William Paterson University

A Muslim student-employee at William Paterson University (WPU) has been cleared of baseless sexual harassment charges. WPU’s shameful attack on 63-year-old Jihad Daniel’s rights began after he privately replied to an unsolicited March 7 mass e-mail from Professor Arlene Holpp Scala that promoted a viewing and discussion of a film described as “a lesbian relationship story.” Daniel’s e-mail to Professor Scala requested that he not be sent “any mail about ‘Connie and Sally’ and ‘Adam and Steve.'” FIRE first wrote in protest to the WPU president, only to receive a reply from the New Jersey Attorney General’s Office which asserted that “Clearly speech which violates a non-discrimination policy is not protected.” After FIRE took the case public, Daniel was vindicated in a November 2005 ruling when the hearing officer had determined that the sexual harassment charge was “not supported” and that the letter would be removed from his personal file. Moreover, the hearing officer clearly stated that Daniel’s one-time expression of a personal religious belief was not “harassment.”

  • Fighting Against Political Correctness on Campus

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  • When sexual harassment is a joke

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    December 13, 2005

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  • University Drops Charges Against Student for Opposition to Homosexuality

    December 12, 2005

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  • Muslim college worker wins appeal to have personnel reprimand erased

    December 8, 2005

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  • ‘Harassment’ reprimand dropped against college worker

    December 7, 2005

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    September 14, 2005

    When William Paterson University employee Jihad Daniel, 63, checked his student e-mail on March 8, he did not know his name would appear in newspapers across the country. “I thought I was expressing my opinion and that’s about it—two or three little lines,” said Daniel, who works in Information Systems and is a Communications Media graduate student. Dr. Arlene Holpp Scala, Chair of WPU’s Department of Women’s Studies, had sent out an e-mail announcement about an upcoming film at WPU titled, “Ruth and Connie: Every Room in the House.” According to the e-mail, the lesbian relationship movie was being shown […]

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    August 24, 2005

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  • New Jersey University Student Punished for Voicing Opposition to Homosexuality in Email

    August 12, 2005

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  • Cyber Complaint

    August 5, 2005

    AP reports that an employee with William Paterson University in Wayne, N.J., who was reprimanded for using a private email to describe gays as “perversions” says his rights were violated. Jihad Daniel, 68, of Hackensack, N.J. , made his comments in March in response to an email he received that had been sent university-wide by professor Arlene Holpp Scala. That message invited people to a film about lesbian relationships titled “Ruthie and Connie: Every Room in the House.” Daniel, who works repairing the university’s computer networks, responded in an email to Scala that he did not want to receive messages […]

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  • University rebukes employee for e-mail decrying lesbianism

    July 31, 2005

    A state university in New Jersey has reprimanded a student-employee for describing homosexuality as a “perversion” in a private e-mail that he sent a female professor, after she sent him an unsolicited announcement about a university event that promoted lesbian relationships. But Jihad Daniel, 63, who works for William Paterson University repairing computer hardware and takes graduate-level courses part time, said he was only expressing his Muslim religious beliefs when he responded to professor Arlene Holpp Scala, head of the university’s women’s studies department. Mr. Daniel wants a letter of reprimand from the university’s president removed from his permanent employee […]

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  • University Student Disciplined For Objecting to Lesbianism

    July 29, 2005

    Jihad Daniel is a Muslim grad-student at William Paterson University . He received a mass e-mail from a professor inviting him to a film about lesbian relationships. At the bottom of the note it said to reply, and so he did. Greg Lukianoff is with the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education ( FIRE ). “This is all he said. Do not send me any e-mail about ‘Connie and Sally’ and ‘Adam and Steve.’ These are perversions. The absence of God in higher education brings on confusion that is why in these classes the Creator of the heavens and the […]

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    July 29, 2005

    (AgapePress) – A 63-year-old campus technician and student at a New Jersey university who sent a private e-mail describing lesbianism and homosexuality as “perversions” has been formally reprimanded by the school for violating its non-discrimination policy. Part-time student Jihad Daniel made his comment in response to an unsolicited e-mail he received from William Paterson University professor Arlene Holpp Scala, inviting people to a film and discussion about lesbian relationships. According to a WorldNetDaily article, Daniel responded to the message privately in a return e-mail, requesting that he receive no further mail “about ‘Connie and Sally’ and ‘Adam and Steve’” — […]

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  • Free speech under fire at New Jersey university

    July 28, 2005

    Of all places, public universities should be viewed as havens of free speech, intellectual marketplaces where knowledge and ideas are permitted to flow freely. Obviously, the market is closed at William Paterson University in New Jersey. A controversy began brewing in march when Arlene Scala, chair of the women’s studies department, sent out a mass, unsolicited e-mail advertising a screening of the movie Ruthie and Connie: Every Room in the House, described as a “lesbian relationship story.” Nothing wrong so far. Jihad Daniel, a 63-year-old student and employee of the university, took offense to the e-mail, however. He replied privately, […]

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  • Insanity at WPU: Mr. Daniel’s censure

    July 27, 2005

    He didn’t hit anyone. He didn’t bully anyone. He didn’t utter any of the slurs about lesbians that all men have heard and that no decent men use. But he responded critically to a posting on a William Paterson University bulletin board and now stands censured for “threatening” a professor. If Jihad Daniel, 68, a graduate student and computer tech at WPU, “threatened” Professor Arlene Holpp Scala in an e-mail, then any woman who ever responded to any man impatiently also was guilty of threatening. If to “threaten” is to express intent to cause harm, Jihad Daniel is an innocent […]

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  • On Campus, Only Some Free Speech Protected

    July 26, 2005

    The publicly funded William Paterson University in New Jersey reprimanded Jihad Daniel for discrimination and sexual harassment. The 63-year-old Daniel, who is both an employee and a student at the university, is now at the center of a free speech controversy. He is also a fine example of the sleight-of-hand being called “due process” by universities that quash politically incorrect speech. The facts are uncontested. On March 7, Arlene Holpp Scala, chair of the Women’s Studies Department, sent Daniel an unsolicited e-mail announcement of an upcoming film event: “‘Ruthie and Connie: Every Room in the House,’ a lesbian relationship story.” […]

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  • Intolerance Police Strike in NJ

    July 25, 2005

    Jihad Daniel, a student employee at William Paterson University in New Jersey, got an unsolicited e-mail from Professor Arlene Holpp Scala, chairwoman of the department of women’s studies. It was an invitation to view and discuss a film described as “a lesbian relationship story.” Daniel responded privately in a return e-mail, requesting he not be solicited in the future with “any mail about ‘Connie and Sally’ and ‘Adam and Steve.’” “These are perversions,” he wrote March 8. “The absence of God in higher education brings on confusion. That is why in these classes the Creator of the heavens and the […]

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  • Letter to the Editor

    July 25, 2005

    Regarding “Taking a policy too far” (Editorial, July 22), in which The Record criticized William Paterson University’s punishment of Jihad Daniel for sending an e-mail disapproving of homosexuality, I’d like to add a couple of points. First, Daniel’s status as a graduate student prevails over his status as an employee. The e-mail to which he responded (which advertised a movie about a lesbian relationship) was related to the school curriculum, not his work duties. WPU’s attempt to make this an employment matter is a smokescreen. No student should ever be called in by government officials to be told that his […]

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  • School Worker Fights Lesbian Insult Reprimand

    July 22, 2005

    (Wayne, NJ) An employee at William Paterson University who was reprimanded for using a private e-mail to describe homosexuals as “perversions” says his rights were violated. Jihad Daniel, 68, of Hackensack, made his comments in March in response to an e-mail he received that had been sent university-wide by professor Arlene Holpp Scala. That message invited people to a film about lesbian relationships, titled “Ruthie and Connie: Every Room in the House.” Daniel, who works repairing the university’s computer networks, responded in an e-mail to Scala that he did not want to receive messages about “Ruthie and Connie.” “These are […]

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  • Taking a policy too far

    July 22, 2005

    WILLIAM Paterson University went too far when it formally reprimanded a Muslim employee for writing in an e-mail to a professor that homosexual relationships are “perversions.” The university acted on an overzealous interpretation of the state’s anti-discrimination policy. In so doing, it unfortunately provided grist to the national Christian right in its complaint that so-called liberal academe squashes free speech among students and employees. The decision to discipline the employee also forestalled other more creative and constructive solutions that must be sought for the inevitable dust-ups in our culturally diverse society. The problem began when a women’s studies professor sent […]

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  • Reprimanded college worker has an ally

    July 21, 2005

    A national civil rights group has taken up the case of a William Paterson University employee who was reprimanded for sending a professor an e-mail describing homosexuality as a “perversion.” Jihad Daniel, a graduate student and university employee, was found guilty last month of violating state discrimination and harassment laws after he sent the head of the women’s studies department the e-mail. In it he complained about an invitation he received to an on-campus showing of a film about a lesbian relationship. “These are perversions,” Daniel wrote. “The absence of God in higher education brings on confusion. That is why […]

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  • School employee fights reprimand after insulting lesbians

    July 21, 2005

    WAYNE, N.J. — An employee at William Paterson University who was reprimanded for using a private e-mail to describe homosexuals as “perversions” says his rights were violated. Jihad Daniel, 68, of Hackensack, made his comments in March in response to an e-mail he received that had been sent university-wide by professor Arlene Holpp Scala. That message invited people to a film about lesbian relationships, titled “Ruthie and Connie: Every Room in the House.” Daniel, who works repairing the university’s computer networks, responded in an e-mail to Scala that he did not want to receive messages about “Ruthie and Connie.” “These […]

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  • Anti-gay message sparks WPU debate

    July 21, 2005

    William Paterson University’s reprimand of an employee over an anti-gay e-mail he sent to a professor has sparked a debate over free speech. Computer systems technologist and part-time student Jihad Daniel said that the e-mail he sent to a professor in March was a simple expression of opinion. But Arlene Holpp Scala, the professor he sent it to, said the e-mail, which equated homosexuality with “perversion,” was threatening. Now, the Philadelphia-based free-speech advocacy group FIRE (Foundation for Individual Rights in Education) is claiming that Daniel’s rights were violated when he was reprimanded by the university for his e-mail. “The university […]

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  • Worker fights college over homesexual stand

    July 21, 2005

    Worker fights college over homesexual stand WAYNE (AP) — An employee at William Paterson University who was reprimanded for using a private e-mail to describe homosexuals as “perversions” says his rights were violated. Jihad Daniel, 68, of Hackensack, made his comments in March in response to an e-mail he received that had been sent universitywide by professor Arlene Holpp Scala. The university reprimanded Daniel, saying his comments were derogatory and demeaning. Daniel challenged the reprimand.

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  • Victory for Free Speech and Religious Liberty at William Paterson University

    December 7, 2005

    WAYNE, N.J., December 7, 2005—A Muslim student employee at William Paterson University (WPU) in New Jersey has finally been cleared of baseless sexual harassment charges. With the help of the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE), Jihad Daniel forced the public university to officially revoke the punishment it inflicted on him after he expressed his religious opinion of homosexuality in a private e-mail to a professor. “This is a great day for religious and expressive freedom on campus,” said FIRE President David French. “WPU has finally come to its senses and recognized that the First Amendment’s protection for expressing […]

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  • Playing a Dangerous Game

    September 2, 2005

    When people think about a “threat,” they tend to imagine a variety of dark scenarios—from the mugger in the alley who says, “Your money or your life,” to the chilling answering machine message where a faceless person says, “I will kill you.” Threats like those have never been considered “free speech.” In fact, true threats are a crime. In general, for a comment to qualify as a true threat, it must cause reasonable people to believe that they are going to be physically harmed. Unfortunately, many colleges—eager to ban speech that administrators or students do not like—have latched onto the […]

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  • The Media Discover William Paterson University Student’s Plight

    August 3, 2005

    FIRE’s efforts to defend William Paterson University master’s student Jihad Daniel, who has been unjustly punished for “harassment” and “discrimination” for privately replying to a professor’s mass e-mail stating his religious objections to its content, have drawn well-deserved public attention. Wendy McElroy of Fox News commented on the case in “On Campus, Only Some Speech Protected,” while Joyce Howard Price reported on the case for the Washington Times.  New York’s Newsday ran the Associated Press story on the controversy, while William Paterson’s home state of New Jersey featured news articles in the Star-Ledger (Newark) and the North Jersey Herald News […]

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  • Worker’s censure ignites debate

    July 21, 2005

    WAYNE – A William Paterson University employee censured for calling a film on lesbian relationships a “perversion” has sparked a debate over where free speech ends and discrimination begins. Jihad Daniel, 68, of Hackensack said he was simply expressing his Muslim religious beliefs in the e-mail to a WPU educator advertising the film. But university administrators contend he violated the university’s anti-discrimination policy. And the e-mail’s recipient said she felt the e-mail qualifies as harassment, not free speech. The dispute began in March when Professor Arlene Holpp Scala of the women’s studies department sent out a universitywide e-mail announcing a […]

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  • William Paterson University Tramples Student’s Constitutional Rights

    July 20, 2005

    Charges Student with Discrimination and Harassment for ‘Demeaning’ Homosexuality WAYNE, N.J., July 20, 2005—William Paterson University in New Jersey has convicted student employee Jihad Daniel of “discrimination” and “harassment”—without due process—for describing homosexuality as a “perversion” in a private response to a professor’s unsolicited announcement of a university event that promoted a positive view of lesbian relationships. “William Paterson’s punishment of Mr. Daniel is a direct attack on freedom of speech,” remarked David French, president of the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE), which intervened on Daniel’s behalf. “For the university to convict a student of ‘harassment’ for sending […]

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