by Hugh Fitzgerald
Felix Coe was until very recently an associate professor of biology at the University of Connecticut. He is a convert to Islam who had posted on his office door demands that directed students to “REMOVE SHOES BEFORE ENTERING” and “KNOCK FIRST, THEN REQUEST ENTRY Say: Bismillah.”
When one student asked politely — and recorded in an undated audio — why he insisted that she remove her shoes, Coe gruffly replied “Get the hell out of here. I don’t want to see you.”
“I am a Muslim,” Coe explained to the student. “You don’t come into my office with dirty shoes; that’s a curse.”
Two other people — who tell Coe that they are parents of students — came to Coe’s office in December 2017 to ask about the demands posted on his door:
“I want to know why these [signs] are necessary,” one of the men asks Coe. “Why would a student have to take their shoes off? Why would a student have to say [Bismillah]?”
“Because I am a Muslim and I don’t want them coming in my office with dirty shoes,” Coe stated.
“But this is your office, this is not a prayer [place],” the man tells Coe. “We have a separate place for a prayer” (where shoes are to be removed).
Coe doesn’t answer, and the visitor then makes an obvious point about the “Say: Bismillah” command:
“If a Christian put in here ‘In Jesus’ name’…would this happen?”
Felix Coe doesn’t answer, but instead goes to his phone, no doubt calling Campus Security to come and remove these people who have the gall to question him. The video ends at this point, and we don’t know if the visitors then left voluntarily or were escorted out. But their points have been made, and Coe’s blustering nastiness recorded, not least for the benefit of the administrators at the University of Connecticut, a public institution.
What everyone of sense will realize is that Felix Coe thought he could get away with treating his office as a space for Muslim prayer, where shoes are to be left at the entry, and where, he further insisted, all those coming to see him, including non-Muslims, were required to say the Bismillah (“In the name of Allah”), the invocation made before any undertaking by devout Muslims. What was it that gave him that idea? Might it have been the general attitude, abroad in the land, and especially in academic settings, of deference to Muslims and to Islam? This last demand (“Say: Bismillah”) was especially outrageous at a public university. We all know that if a Christian professor had required students to say “in the name of Jesus” before entering his office at a public university, he would immediately be in big trouble. Coe could say nothing coherent to defend that “Say: Bismillah,” but he was not, either, about to remove the command.
Then something unexpected happened. The University of Connecticut administrators, having learned of the unusual demands made on visitors by the bullying botanist, ordered the immediate removal of “Say: Bismillah” from Coe’s office door. According to Campus Reform, “UConn promptly resolved the issue in a manner that respects the rights of all involved, and affirms the University’s values of civility and inclusivity. Regarding this instance, the sign that had directed guests to precede their conversations with a specific Arabic phrase was immediately removed at the University’s direction,” a university spokesperson stated.
And that was not the end of the matter. Sometime after December 2017, we now learn, Felix Coe “retired.” Was he forced to retire from the University of Connecticut, given the outrageousness of his behavior? Or did he retire because he didn’t like being told what he could and could not require of visitors? It hardly matters. He is gone. The administration, the faculty, and above all the students, are free from his bullying. The students and parents who helped draw attention to his behavior will be models for activist students, and their parents, on other campuses. And Muslim faculty, who might have emulated him, will now learn from the example of former associate professor, Felix Coe, now suddenly retired, that there are limits to what the Infidels will endure.
First published in Jihad Watch.
I got my MS in physics at UConn. It's a really nice place with a great faculty, at least in that department. I'm glad to hear that this whacko was dealt with firmly.