Writes Róisín O’Donnell
One of our own, Dr Amanullah De Sondy, a senior lecturer in Contemporary Islam, was a target of unnecessary, ignorant hate this Wednesday when he received what sources are describing as a ‘chilling’ voicemail. The voicemail came from an individual who has not been identified, but the cold intent exhibited by their actions is clear. Dr De Sondy has quoted the voicemail as calling the lecturer a ‘terrorist’, stating he “must stop lecturing the Irish on how they should live their life” and featuring such remarks as “I hope you are executed”.
The incident was reported to Gardaí by Dr De Sondy. However, this is not the first time Dr De Sondy has been the target of racially motivated abuse. In 2017, the lecturer received a similar voicemail, the person behind this voicemail has never been found. Dr De Sondy has chosen to go public with the most recent voicemail due to the death threat made.
The outpouring of support for Dr De Sondy is evident on his Twitter page with multiple lecturers, UCC students and even the President of UCC showing their disgust at this senseless attack on a beloved lecturer.
In an open Twitter letter to the lecturer, the President of UCC Patrick G. O’ Shea, called Dr De Sondy, a courageous friend and an honour to have at the University. President O’Shea furthered his remarks by cementing UCC’s stance on the issue. ‘We all stand together with you, and against ignorant shameful hate.’
Speaking to the UCC Express, Dr De Sondy stated that his experience is ‘a wake up call for us in the University and internationally.’ He believes the lack conversations surrounding anti-Muslimism attitudes and the rise of Islamophobia can be felt at all levels of society. Overall, he does not want this attack to be seen only in the negative sense. He believes ‘the message is hopeful’ and offers the students of UCC an opportunity to be aware of the minorities on campus. He had this advice to give to current and incoming students, ‘Move out of your comfort zone and learn about someone radically different than you.’