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Femion » The Misadventures of dad’s crazy colleague

The Misadventures of dad’s crazy colleague

December 17th, 2006

Shiraz Dossa has been a professor in the political science department at St. FX along with my dad for as long as I have been alive. Recently, he’s found himself in a bit of a controversy. Being half Iranian, he decided to take his daughter to Iran for a trip, and just happened to take advantage of a free trip there to if he gave a lecture at a conference.
Now, there’s nothing odd in that. However, since that conference happens to be the biggest holocaust denier’s meeting in the world, it can ruffle more than a few feathers. This appeared on the CBC national news:



Later, Prime Minister Stephen Harper sent out foreign minister Peter Mackay (also representative of Pictou-Antigonish riding) to declare his disapproval.
The whole thing is leaving quite a tar on the university. It’s been the constant topic of discussion of all the profs ever since the 13th of December (even more than the CCRL/health centre controversy). He’s supposedly coming home tomorrow, because he’s got to turn in his marks, and Pierre’s family has had their holiday vacation delayed for the weekend so that his dad, Sean Riley as seen in the clip above, can personally question Dossa before the media do.
I don’t think there’s much the university can do, however. Dossa is tenured, and he has academic freedom. There should be standards of professionalism within the university, and St FX should be able to control where it is represented.
The one person I feel sorry for is his daughter, who worked on the Gillis Gazette for me last year. She’s really nice, but her father is probably the most hated man in Canadian academia right now.

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