ASU suspends scholar who allegedly threatened woman in hijab

May 13, 2024
2,455 Views

Arizona State University has suspended and referred to Tempe police a postdoctoral research scholar who, according to a viral video on social media, followed a young woman in a hijab on a sidewalk, got in her face and insulted her.

“You’re disrespecting my religious boundaries!” repeats the woman in the video as she backs away from Jonathan Yudelman.

“Yeah?” he says and moves again toward the woman, saying, “You disrespect my sense of humanity, bitch.” She appears momentarily stuck between him, the highway, a tree and another person on the sidewalk, but then squeezes through and moves away.

Yudelman has worked in ASU’s School of Civic and Economic Thought and Leadership, and has taught “Great Ideas, Politics and Ethics” and “Great Debates in American Politics.”

The website for the University of Austin—an unaccredited, in-development entity that bills itself as fighting a “rising tide of illiberalism and censoriousness prevalent in America’s universities”—also lists Yudelman as an assistant professor of political theory in intellectual foundations. The University of Austin didn’t respond to questions about his job status there Friday, and Inside Higher Ed was unable to reach Yudelman.

It’s unclear whether the woman in the hijab was a student. In a statement, ASU said the interaction took place May 5 on a city sidewalk. The video seems to have been captured during a counter-protest against pro-Palestinian supporters. A man supporting Yudelman was wearing a skullcap, and he told the woman “Go back to jihad” and said, “Fuck Palestine. Fuck Hamas.”

ASU’s statement said, “Yudelman is on leave from Arizona State University pending the outcome of an investigation into a video” and he’s “not permitted to come to campus, teach classes or interact with students or employees.” But it also noted that Yudelman had already resigned before his alleged involvement in the incident, and was set to leave the university on June 30.

In a separate statement, ASU president Michael Crow said Yudelman “will never teach here again.”




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