An Indiana State University professor will appear in court Monday for allegedly faking anti-Islam threats and an assault to gain sympathy for Muslims.
Azhar Hussain, an assistant professor at ISU, told law enforcement that an assailant had attacked him on campus on March 24. He said the attacker grabbed him from behind and threw him to the ground. Earlier emails received by the university included anti-Muslim threats directed toward Hussain.
Local police worked with the Federal Bureau of Investigation to probe the threats—and they said evidence suggested Hussain had sent the menacing emails himself.
Authorities also failed to find any witnesses of Hussain’s purported attack despite interviewing several people who were near the College of Technology offices that morning, where the professor claimed the assault occurred.
“Based on the investigation, it is our belief that Hussain was trying to gain sympathy by becoming a victim of anti-Muslim threats, which he had created himself,” the university’s chief of police told the Tribune-Star.
By deadline, Hussain did not respond to a LinkedIn interview request. No one answered his ISU office phone, and his voicemail has been deactivated.
The university has begun severance proceedings to get rid of Hussain, also telling local media he would not return to his position next year. On Friday, authorities charged the professor with obstruction of justice and harassment.
A spokesperson for ISU declined to comment, citing the ongoing legal proceedings.