A trainee Church of England priest at Oxford University has claimed he wasn’t allowed to ask critical questions about Islam during a seminar.
The student has accused the university of discrimination and bias and made a formal complaint. In it, he says a lecturer pointed at him during the seminar and said: “Everybody can ask a question except you.”
The student, Shahriar Ashrafkhorasani, 33, is an Iranian-born convert from Islam. He will become a Church of England priest in July.
The lecturer is Minlib Dallh, is a research fellow at Regent’s Park College in Oxford.
Ashrafkhorasani, a master’s student in applied theology at Wycliffe Hall, claims the lecturer refused to let him ask critical questions about his description of Islam as a religion of peace and love after Dallh discovered in a mid-seminar coffee break that he was a convert from Islam who had been persecuted in Iran.
Three fellow students have confirmed this version of events, according to the Sunday Times of London.
Ashrafkhorasani said: “The lecture was at best a very poor Islamic apologetic, and at worst academically dishonest and misleading. While the government is rightly concerned about Islamophobia, there is no concern whatsoever for Christianophobia.”
Oxford University said: “All complaints made to the proctors’ office are treated with the utmost seriousness and with the interests of the student paramount.”