A former head of the faculty senate at the City University of New York, Kingsboro Community College Professor Susan O’Malley, has filed a $ 2 million libel suit against her most biting critic, Emeritus Professor Sharad Karkhanis. The latter has accused her of recruiting terrorists to teach at the university and campaigning for administrative positions to avoid teaching classes herself.
Karkhanis made the accusation after O’Malley proposed to rehire Mohamed Yousry, an Arabic-language translator convicted of supporting terrorist activities. He was fired from York College.
Karkhanis also criticized O’Malley for defending the right of an adjunct lecturer at John Jay College, Susan Rosenberg, to teach at the school. Rosenberg was a member of a radical group, the Weather Underground, and had served 16 years in prison for keeping explosives in her apartment.
A professor of business and economics at Brooklyn College, Mitchell Langbert, maintains Karkhanis was acting within his rights. “Sharad is an extremely influential force,” Langbert comments in The New York Sun. “The union, an ingrown left-wing group, has every motivation to try to silence him. Getting him embroiled in a lawsuit like this would be advantageous to the union leadership.”
Robert KC Johnson, a professor of history at Brooklyn College cites the defamation suit as yet another example of the academic left’s lack of commitment to free speech.