Astronomy professor Daniel Mashburn of Tarrant County College has been suspended after covering his face and ranting about Islam in the classroom instead of teaching.
Mashburn was suspended by Tarrant County College in Fort Worth, Texas, after it was reported that he entered the classroom late with his head, face, and hands covered, turned off the lights, and began ranting about Islam.
Mashburn allegedly entered the classroom covered in scarfs, turned off the lights, and began to speak about the Koran, the moon, and the “dark night.”
Although some students considered Mashburn’s behavior to be a joke, others didn’t find humor in his performance. One student even called the police. Police questioned and searched Mashburn but did not arrest him.
In an interview with a local news outlet, Mashburn attempted to explain his bizarre classroom behavior.
Todd: Are you aware that you scared some of those students?
Mashburn: Why should they be afraid?
Todd: Well you wouldn’t show your face.
Mashburn: Many people do not show their faces. And in many countries, they do not show their faces.
Todd: Well here in America, we tend to usually show our face when we are a professor at a college. That’s typically the standard.
Mashburn: Oh, yes. But I do not answer to your standard. I am not a Christian. I am not a Jew. I’m a Muslim.
Todd: When you interviewed with Tarrant County College to get this job, did you explain to them your teaching philosophy?
Mashburn: I keep it secret. I keep it safe. I do my best, but I am tired of hiding in the shadows. I am tired of fearing their law. I fear Allah.
Todd: What do you have to say to those students who were frightened enough last night they had to call 911?
Mashburn: I do not know why they fear me. Why are they afraid? I’m a man who covers his face in his hand. I offer you nothing but the Koran a book and the universe. The universe is in my hand right here. You can look at it.
One student who was in the classroom, April McLeod, said in a comment that Mashburn’s bizarre behavior led some students to believe that Mashburn had a weapon. “Mostly he was talking about different things of the Muslim faith,” McLeod said. “I was in class for about five minutes. He kept messing with his pocket and you could tell there was an object in the right-hand pocket. And whenever he went to pull out his hand, I started having this really bad feeling and jumped up and ran out of the classroom.”