For the second time in three months, a Florida Atlantic University visiting professor has been accused of having ties to the terrorist group Hamas, although officials say there is no evidence the charge is true.
FAU and Fulbright Foundation officials said the U.S. State Department has provided them no evidence that Mustafa Abu Sway, a Fulbright Scholar in residence for one year, has links to terrorism in general or Hamas in particular.
"There are a number of allegations we'll be checking further before we have a comment," a State Department official said Wednesday.
An article published in the New York Sun and on a Web site on Tuesday expanded on assertions made in October that Abu Sway has ties to Hamas.
Abu Sway was a board member and raised money for two Hamas-related organizations based in Jerusalem and worked with a coalition of Palestinian organizations known to be Hamas fund-raisers, the article said.
Abu Sway, 46, who lives in East Jerusalem and is an associate professor at the Islamic Research Center of Al-Quds University in Jerusalem, is teaching at FAU's Honors College in Jupiter until June. He denied the allegations, according to the article, other than to say he was a board member of one of the organizations and had met once with another.
His denials were only partially reported in the article, Abu Sway said.
"It's not objective. It's not scholarly. And I'd say it's not fair," he said Wednesday. "People like it when people reinforce their fears."
The article was written by Daniel Pipes and Asaf Romirowsky, who are director and research associate, respectively, of the Middle East Forum, a Philadelphia think tank regarded by some as pro-Israel and anti-Muslim.
Pipes wrote an opinion piece in October in the the New York Post saying that Abu Sway has terrorist ties. In the latest article, he urged readers to e-mail FAU President Frank Brogan, and Steven Uhlfelder, a Tallahassee attorney who is on the state Board of Governors and is chairman of the Fulbright Scholarship board.
Uhlfelder said Wednesday that he had received about 75 e-mails. He referred them to Brogan, who had received about 200 mostly vitriolic e-mails, officials said.
"People should be careful in throwing around allegations like this," he said.
The university said it is awaiting results of a review of Abu Sway's background by the State Department.
In an article distributed by the Catholic Theological Union of Chicago following the Sept. 11 attacks, Abu Sway wrote: "It is our duty to reconfirm the sanctity of human life regardless of ethnic or religious background. Let us join hands for the welfare of humanity at large."