For 25 years, Kaukab Siddique maintained a low profile on Lincoln's campus, popular among his students and respected by many of his colleagues.
But news of his comments made two months ago at a rally for Palestinians has caught many on campus off guard. Siddique himself is now dealing with unwanted attention from outside groups.
Caught on video calling for the dismantling and destruction of the state of Israel "if possible by peaceful means", Siddique has been labeled a terrorist and his teachings have been questioned.
"I'm not Palestinian, but I'm on the side of the Palestinians," Siddique said recently.
He's also been labeled anti-Semitic for his beliefs and has been accused of calling the holocaust a hoax, an assertion he denies.
While there is no unified response from Lincoln University, Lincoln's President Ivory Nelson sought to set the record straight.
"I hope everyone understands that Dr. Siddique's statements and assertions are his own, and they in no way represent the views of Lincoln University or me," Nelson said in a recent statement. "His latest activities, like his earlier writings and statements, are an insult to all decent people."
Lincoln's faculty is largely unsettled by Siddique's latest appearance in the media. Some believe that his comments were more harmful than helpful.
Melvin Leaman, assistant professor of philosophy and religion, believes that while Siddique was within his 1st Amendment rights, he went too far. However, Leaman said he does not question Siddique's teaching.
In an email to blogger Asma Fischer and faculty members of the humanities department, Leaman expressed his concerns about Siddique's actions while making it clear that he is a respected colleague.
"I believe that Dr. Siddique went beyond helpful discourse," Leaman said. "That's not something I've seen him do in the classroom," Leaman said who describes his relationship with Siddique as "cordial."
Leaman, who says he is of the "Christian tradition," often invited Siddique to speak to his religion classes about Islam; in particular the Five Pillars of Islam.
"He never tried to convince anyone of his beliefs," Leaman said.
Siddique argues that discussions should be nurtured on campus, especially when there are multiple sides to an issue.
"I'm not scared of speaking critically but politely," Siddique said recently.
According to Siddique, students should learn to think objectively, write, and compete in the global market.
"I want understanding, not agreement," Siddique said about his teaching method. "I'm not here to fail them; my job is to make them do better."
Some students lauded his classroom approach.
"He's not as aggressive as some, but I think he gets his point across," junior Armani Pitts, a student in student in Siddique's world literature class, said. "He makes sure everybody got the point."
Students were shocked to learn of his strong feelings toward Israel.
"I never would have thought for him to make such statements, [I] never heard him say such things in class," senior Ashlee Mack said.
Siddique was featured in an interview on "Under the Watchful Eye," a radio show on Lincoln's WWLU radio station.
"I wanted to know where his head was at," senior Dexter Stuckey, host of the show, said.
Like other students, Stuckey was shocked to hear of Siddique's commentaries, particularly his views on Israel.
After the interview he recognized Siddique as the same professor he knew for years.
"This is the same guy as before. I think he was really grateful to get his opinion out," Stuckey said.
Though some of his students were largely unfamiliar with his writings and views, the Anti-Defamation League has been watching Siddique since 2006 for his earlier written works and speeches.
"We've been familiar with those views for some time and have been disturbed," Barry Morrison, Eastern Pennsylvania and Delaware Regional Director of the Anti-Defamation League said.
The ADL monitors reports from classroom, email, and professional meetings to find and confront anti-Semitism. Morrison said that the ADL does not seek to censor Siddique "as long as he is teaching what he is there to teach."
Siddique has received several emails about his comments, many of them against him and even sometimes threaten him. He noted that he has received some emails of support from Jews who have been critical of Israel's occupation of Palestinian land.
Siddique believes the current interest in his activities to be a part of an "election witch hunt" and a chance to attack a historically African-American university.
"Most of the time they don't come here. Why are they taking me seriously?" Siddique said.
Siddique believes that historically black colleges and universities are safe havens for dissenting political opinions and that the current controversy is an attack on American freedoms.