College professor Daniel Mashburn terrified his students when he walked into class Tuesday night with his face covered and incoherently mumbled about the Koran, the moon and the dark night.
Most of the class slipped out and Mashburn was interrogated and frisked by the campus police.
It was the first day of the astronomy class and the professor at Tarrant County College in Hurst, Texas, did not discuss his subject matter at all, only Islam.
Students told FOX4 that Mashburn walked in about 20 minutes late and promptly turned off the lights. He was wearing a baseball hat, a beanie, a scarf over his face and gloves.
“The kid next to me had said he was acting very strange, and I looked over at the girl next to me and she seemed very scared,” student April McLeod said.
The students said Mashburn then started talking about the Muslim holy book, the Koran, and the moon and the dark night.
“Mostly he was talking about different things of the Muslim faith,” McLeod said. “I was in class for about five minutes. He kept messing with his pocket and you could tell there was an object in the right-hand pocket. And whenever he went to pull out his hand, I started having this really bad feeling and jumped up and ran out of the classroom.”
McLeod stated that at one point, Mashburn stood facing the classroom blackboard and was just talking to the board. All but two of the 25 students in the class got up and walked out.
When asked to explain his behavior, Mashburn told campus police, “I thought I’d start this year a little different.”
KDFW reporter Brandon Todd interviewed Mashburn, who refused to come down from his apartment balcony.
“The class is about astronomy; it’s about the stars,” Mashburn said from his balcony, while holding a book in his hand. “And Islam is about the stars.”
Mashburn deflected the reporter’s questions and claimed his teaching of astronomy ties in with Islam. Part of their exchange went as follows:
Todd: Are you aware that you scared some of those students?
Mashburn: Why should they be afraid?
Todd: Well you wouldn’t show your face.
Mashburn: Many people do not show their faces. And in many countries, they do not show their faces.
Todd: Well, here in America, we tend to usually show our face when we are a professor at a college. That’s typically the standard.
Mashburn: Oh, yes. But I do not answer to your standard. I am not a Christian. I am not a Jew. I’m a Muslim.
Mashburn repeatedly deflected questions and several times said his teaching of astronomy goes hand in hand with Islam.
Todd: When you interviewed with Tarrant County College to get this job, did you explain to them your teaching philosophy?
Mashburn: I keep it secret. I keep it safe. I do my best, but I am tired of hiding in the shadows. I am tired of fearing their law. I fear Allah.
Todd: What do you have to say to those students who were frightened enough last night they had to call 911?
Mashburn: I do not know why they fear me. Why are they afraid? I’m a man who covers his face in his hand. I offer you nothing, but the Koran, a book and the universe. The universe is in my hand right here. You can look at it.
Mashburn was suspended indefinitely by the college, and his replacement is expected to arrive for the next class, according to the report.
Students say they received an apology from their professor, but it also seemed incoherent and he still talked about religion. Students have heard from TCC that they will get a new professor for their next class.
Some on social media claimed he has a mental illness. But from what I see, he is cocky. He decided to play the social justice card in his classroom and it backfired. He was acting like a typical liberal who thinks they know everything and the rest of us know nothing. He portrayed a holier than thou attitude to reporters.
Well the child just found out where that got him. I imagine it will be a very long time before he is allowed back in a classroom. Hopefully, he can make the best of his 15 minutes of fame.
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