By Pat Pratt
ST. LOUIS, Missouri (KMOV) — A Washington University professor is under fire from a Muslim civil rights and advocacy group following a social media post which they claim calls for the ethnic cleansing of Palestinians and refers to them as not humans.
Professor Seth Crosby, Director of Partnerships and Alliances in the Department of Genetics, later apologized for the post, saying he was referring to Hamas, the Islamic militant group whose attack on Israel sparked the current conflict, and not the Palestinian people.
The statement by Crosby was in response to another post on “X,” formerly Twitter, which stated, “Israel is engaged in the ethnic cleansing of Palestinians.
In his response, Crosby posted, “It is a much needed cleansing, yes, but not an ethnic one. Israel is not targeting humans.”
The Missouri chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-Missouri) on Saturday issued a news release describing the post as anti-Palestinian, “unconscionable” and urging the university to act.
“It is unconscionable that a professor at a Missouri institution of higher education would allegedly call for the ethnic cleansing of any population and would seek to dehumanize the target of that crime against humanity,” CAIR-Missouri Board Chair Yasir Ali said. “We urge Washington University to investigate this troubling incident and to take appropriate action.”
Komel Choudhary, the secretary for CAIR-Missouri, said the rhetoric in Crosby’s post could be potentially harmful, inciting further fear and hate directed toward Muslim-Americans.
Inciting hate toward any group of people is not okay. There are serious consequences to the words and word choices that people use. There are serious consequences.
Neveen Ayesh, who grew up in Palestine and now works with the Missouri chapter of the American Muslims for Palestine, said many local families have felt afraid of anti-Islamic attacks in recent weeks, especially in light of a child murdered in the Chicago area this month.
“We have been called barbaric, not human. When people view us that way, they feel it is okay to attack us as such,” she said.
Washington University Vice Chancellor for Marketing and Communications Julie Flory told First Alert 4 on Sunday Crosby is still employed and school officials will follow up as appropriate.
“Seth Crosby is currently employed by Washington University,” Flory said. “The opinions he has expressed as an individual do not represent the university’s position. We are following up as appropriate, according to our policies and processes.”
As of Sunday, Crosby’s account no longer appeared on the social media site.
Please note: This content carries a strict local market embargo. If you share the same market as the contributor of this article, you may not use it on any platform.