ASU Suspends and Refers Scholar to Police After Viral Video Shows Harassment of Woman in Hijab


Arizona State University (ASU) has suspended a postdoctoral research scholar, Jonathan Yudelman, following the circulation of a viral video that shows him harassing a young woman wearing a hijab.

The incident, which occurred on May 5, has drawn significant attention and sparked widespread outrage on social media. ASU has also referred the case to the Tempe police for further investigation.

ASU Suspends and Refers Scholar to Police After Viral Video Shows Harassment of Woman in Hijab

(Photo : PEXELS / Monstera Production)

Details of the Incident

The video, which quickly gained traction online, captures a disturbing confrontation between Yudelman and the woman. In the footage, the woman repeatedly asserts, "You're disrespecting my religious boundaries!" as she tries to distance herself from Yudelman. Undeterred, Yudelman aggressively moves toward her, retorting, "You disrespect my sense of humanity, bitch." The woman appears momentarily trapped between Yudelman, the highway, a tree, and another passerby but eventually manages to escape the confrontation.

The altercation reportedly took place during a counter-protest against pro-Palestinian supporters. Another man, seen supporting Yudelman and wearing a skullcap, can be heard in the video shouting, "Go back to jihad," and making other derogatory remarks about Palestine and Hamas. The exact circumstances leading up to the confrontation remain unclear, but the video's content has been enough to prompt swift action from ASU.

READ MORE: Turning Point USA Employees Guilty: Arizona State Instructor Attacked And Harassed On Campus 

ASU's Response

In response to the incident, ASU issued a statement confirming that Yudelman has been placed on leave pending the outcome of an investigation. The statement clarifies that Yudelman is "not permitted to come to campus, teach classes, or interact with students or employees" during this period. Notably, ASU also mentioned that Yudelman had already resigned prior to the incident and was scheduled to leave the university on June 30. However, in light of the incident, ASU President Michael Crow stated unequivocally that Yudelman "will never teach here again."

The university has expressed its commitment to maintaining a safe and respectful environment for all students and staff. ASU's swift action in suspending Yudelman and involving law enforcement underscores its stance on upholding these values. The university's statement emphasizes that such behavior is unacceptable and contrary to the institution's principles.

Broader Implications and Community Reaction

The incident has sparked a broader discussion about religious tolerance, safety, and respect within academic institutions. Many students, faculty, and community members have expressed their shock and disappointment over the incident. ASU's swift and decisive action has been generally well-received, with many praising the university for addressing the situation promptly.

However, some have raised concerns about the broader implications of such incidents on campus climate and the safety of minority students. The fact that the video was recorded during a protest highlights the volatile nature of such events and the potential for conflicts to escalate rapidly. This incident serves as a reminder of the importance of fostering a campus environment where all individuals feel safe and respected, regardless of their religious or cultural backgrounds.

ASU's decision to refer the case to the Tempe police further illustrates the seriousness with which it treats the incident. The involvement of law enforcement indicates that the university is not only addressing the matter internally but is also seeking to ensure that appropriate legal measures are taken. This dual approach aims to provide a comprehensive response to the incident, addressing both immediate safety concerns and broader issues of accountability and justice.

The suspension of Jonathan Yudelman following the viral video incident reflects ASU's commitment to maintaining a respectful and safe environment for its community members. The incident has prompted significant discussion about religious tolerance and campus safety, highlighting the need for ongoing efforts to foster inclusivity and respect within academic institutions. As the investigation continues, the university and its community will undoubtedly be watching closely to see how the situation unfolds and what further actions may be taken to prevent similar incidents in the future.

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