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College suspends employee for Facebook post urging Iran to list U.S. cultural sites to bomb

Babson College building. (Daderot/Wikimedia Commons)

Babson College has suspended an employee after he wrote on Facebook that Iran should create a list of U.S. cultural sites to bomb.

Turtleboysports.com reported that the post, now since removed, stated Iran should create a list of “52 sites of beloved American cultural heritage” that could be bombed in retaliation for the killing of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Gen. Qasem Soleimani.

Soleimani was killed last week in an American drone strike in Baghdad.

Turtleboysports.com took a screenshot of the Facebook post. The post listed the Kardashian home and the Mall of America.

“Babson College condemns any type of threatening words and/or actions condoning violence and/or hate,” reads a statement from the college. “This particular post from a staff member on his personal Facebook page clearly does not represent the values and culture of Babson College. While we understand he has deleted the posts, we have immediately suspended him, with pay, pending the completion of our investigation.”

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The college said it is cooperating with local, state and federal authorities.

The employee, identified by the Boston Herald and the Facebook post reviewed by Turtleboysports.com as Babson’s director of sustainability Asheen Phansey, apologized for the post in a statement to the Herald.

Phansey said in the statement: “I regret my attempt at at humor. As an American, born and raised, I was trying to juxtapose our ‘cultural sites’ with ancient Iranian churches and mosques.”

He further said he was opposed to violence.

The Foundation for Individual Rights in Education, a national civil liberties organization that defends student and faculty speech rights, said Phansey’s post is “core political speech.”

“Professor Phansey’s Facebook post is core political speech, protected under any principled understanding of freedom of expression,” Adam Steinbaugh, director of FIRE’s Individual Rights Defense Program, said in a statement. “While Babson College is a private institution not bound by the First Amendment, it has committed itself to principles of academic freedom and freedom of expression. By suspending a faculty member due to his private political expression, Babson has betrayed those principles.”

Iran filed missiles at two Iraqi military bases on Tuesday. The bases housed U.S. troops but it does not appear that any troops were injured.

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