We, the undersigned graduate students and other members of the Temple University Department of Religion, would like to declare our full support of Dr. Mahmoud Mustafa Ayoub, Professor Emeritus of Islamic Studies and Comparative Religion.
As a result of recent controversy over an offer by the International Institute of Islamic Thought to endow an Islamic Studies chair in honor of Pr. Ayoub, his good name has been under attack on several websites. These voices question Pr. Ayoub\'s academic and personal integrity, suggest that he has a secret agenda of \"spreading Islamism,\" and even recommend \"a probe into [his] background, associations and ties\" (http://www.campus-watch.org/article/id/4659).
It is in response to these voices that we state unequivocally our respect and admiration for this accomplished academic, proponent of interreligious dialogue, and person of exceptional nobility and wisdom. In the time that we were privileged to learn from Pr. Ayoub, we came to know him as a voice of reason in religious debate and a most respectful critic. There is no doubt in our minds as to the purity of his intentions, his rejection of extremism of any sort, or the soundness of his judgment. We are proud to call Pr. Ayoub our teacher and will stand by him in defense of his reputation and his legacy.
Graduate students and other members of the Temple University Department of Religion
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