NEW YORK – An Indian American professor at Babson College who posted a joke on Facebook about Iran choosing 52 U.S. cultural sites to bomb has been fired by his college.
Babson College said Asheen Phansey was fired because the post on his "personal Facebook page does not represent the values and culture of the College,” according to WBZ television.
He had apologized for the post last week calling it "sloppy humor" that was "read as a threat.”
His post was a reaction to President Donald Trump's tweet about targeting sites that are "very high level and important to Iran and the Iranian culture.”
Bombing cultural sites is a war crime under international law and, contradicting Trump, U.S. officials said that Washington would not target them.
Phansey suggested on Facebook that Iran selected 52 U.S. sites such as the Mall of America in Minnesota or the residence of the Kardashians, celebrities made famous by the reality TV series "Keeping Up with the Kardashians.”
Phansey was the director of sustainability at Babson College, an educational institution that specializes in business and entrepreneurship education. It is located in Wellesley, near Boston, Massachusetts.
"I am really concerned about what this portends for our ability as Americans to engage in political discourse without presuming the worst about each other," Phansey said in a statement quoted by WBZ.
"People willfully misinterpreted a joke I made to my friends on Facebook," and had hoped the college "would have defended and supported my right to free speech.”
The college, however, said that it "condemns any type of threatening words and/or actions condoning violence and/or hate.”