New Haven, Connecticut is a mild-mannered town for a larger city, but that doesn't keep the area from experiencing sexual harassment. The unusual part about this case is the many aspects. The University of Bridgeport didn't investigate the matter. They decided to retaliate against the victim and accuser.
Balayla Ahmed finally took action last week after living with the knowledge of being sexually harassed for several months during 2009. Bridgeport University is being accused of what the FBI refers to as a false claim. The school decided not to investigate Ahmed's claims of sexual harassment, but instead took action with the FBI. The school reported her a terrorist! Those who investigate domestic terrorism don’t take those reports lightly, and making a false claim can be a felony.
Ahmed and her lawyers claim that the school showed an obvious one-sided view that leaned heavily toward her male attacker. FBI agents also accuse the school of spreading false and harmful rumors that could have led to her arrest. She was then released by the school and made unemployed.
Many familiar with the case believe that the school’s actions were deeply influenced by Ahmed’s open religious views. Ahmed often wore the traditional women's Muslim head covering, called a hijab. Some want an outside investigation to school officials, and her sexual harasser’s, negligent, uncaring, and disrespectful actions.
Ahmed's lawyer, Brad Conover, blames the schools and student’s closed-minded beliefs for their gross mistreatment of her. He also claims that the threats of an FBI investigation made her so scared that she was unable to bring herself to leave her apartment.
Now that the school has fired her, she is unable to chase her dream job and tormented by the unnecessary profiling and targeting. All due to another’s sexual harassment of her and her religious beliefs. The root of this case, the male student who committed the sexual harassment, is getting off easy by not being named in the lawsuit. While, what he did was illegal, what the school did was negligent and irresponsible for a professional academic institution.
The end result of the FBI threats landed two agents knocking on her door. They questioned her at home and left her quietly. The only thing they left behind was their business cards. Ahmed, and the FBI, learned that her harasser had created a story that made her a terrorist, and then reported it to the school. The FBI believes it was in retaliation to her claims of sexual harassment.
The school could have stopped all of this before it got this far. The school should have looked passed what they saw with their closed minds and investigated the claim. If that had been done, they would have kicked out the sexual harassment offender, not the victim.
Instead, the school took prejudice and made false claims to the FBI without any background checks into the accused. If the school instated a policy of sexual harassment training and racial/religious profiling courses, this entire situation could have been solved almost immediately, or even avoided!