Cops arrested Indiana State University Professor Azhar Hussain yesterday in connection with an alleged hate crime hoax. Authorities charged him with obstruction of justice (a felony) and harassment (a misdemeanor).
Last month, the campus was hit with a series of anti-Muslim emails, which included physical threats. Later in March, Hussain, 56, filed a police report about being thrown to the floor in his office by an unknown assailant. There were no witnesses to the attack.
Following an investigation by several law enforcement agencies, a probe that included computer forensics, the ISU police chief issued a statement about the alleged hate crime, the Terre Haute Tribune-Star reported.
“Based upon 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. It is extremely unfortunate that this situation caused undue concern on other members of the ISU community.”
ISU has suspended the aviation technology professor from his classroom duties. The school had previously notified him that it would not be renewing his teaching appointment beyond the 2017-2018 academic year “due to the inability to fulfill the conditions of his original appointment.”
Prof. Hussain is currently being held in the Vigo County Jail subject to a $10,000 cash bond. He is due in court on Monday.
Hate crime hoaxes, when they allegedly occur, prevent law enforcement authorities from deploying resources to investigate real hate crimes. Although various media organizations claim a surge in hate crimes since the 2016 presidential election in which Donald Trump emerged the victor, apparently some of them appear to be hoaxes, as the Inquisitr has chronicled.
A Beloit College student was arrested in February on various charges for what police say amounts to an apparent or potential hate crime hoax involving anti-Muslim threats and symbols in his dorm that he had reported as a threat against his religion and ethnicity. Police say the student spray-painted the offensive imagery himself.
An anti-Muslim, headline-making hate crime in December of 2016 against a University of Michigan student in which a suspect threatened to set her hijab on fire was apparently made up, Ann Arbor police detectives concluded, after interviewing witnesses and poring over surveillance footage.
Also in December, authorities arrested a suspect in connection with an arson incident in which a black church in Mississippi was burned and the words “Vote Trump” were spray-painted on its walls. The suspect is an African-American man.
Following an initial complaint that generated national coverage, the NYPD charged a Muslim student, who claimed she was harassed by Trump supporters on a subway, with filing a false police report.
Elsewhere, a Florida man involved in a dispute over child custody was accused of setting his ex-girlfriend’s car on fire, as well a leaving a note with the words “KKK” and “Trump” in the woman’s mailbox. He also allegedly faked his own kidnapping.
Philadelphia police arrested a South Jersey man for allegedly spray-painting racist, pro-Trump messages on several cars on the morning after the November 8 presidential election. The suspect, who was arrested two weeks later, allegedly is the ex-boyfriend of one of the property-damage victims, the Philadelphia Inquirer/Daily News reported, and the victim and her daughter, who are black, identified the suspect when detectives showed them some surveillance footage. The suspect is also African-American, Breitbart News added.
A Chicago college student allegedly faked an incident in which she claimed to have received anti-gay, pro-Trump notes and emails, according to the educational institution’s president, who also indicated that the student is no longer enrolled there.
Separately, a Boston-area man reportedly admitted to lodging a fake hate crime complaint about being accosted by two alleged Trump supporters.
“The men used a racial slur, made a reference to lynching and warned him ‘this is Donald ‘Trump country now,’ according to the report he gave police,” the Boston Herald detailed.
Malden, Massachusetts, police subsequently determined that the story was a complete fabrication.
As the Inquisitr also previously outlined, a University of Louisiana-Lafayette student acknowledged that she made up a story about being assaulted, robbed, and having her hijab torn off by two men, one of whom was wearing a Trump hat. The Lafayette Police Department later announced that it was no longer investigating after the alleged victim admitted to the fabrication. According to CBS New Orleans affiliate WWL-TV, authorities plan to charge the woman, 18, with filing a false report.
[Featured Image by Tcampbell/Wikimedia Commons/Cropped and Resized/Public Domain]