COLLEGE STATION, Texas—Texas A&M is known around the world for its cloning research.
Dr. Mundhir Ridha is a world-renowned scientist. Even though he’s Kurdish, he was employed and protected under the reign of Saddam Hussein because of his skill and forced out of his homeland after Hussein’s fall.
A&M and Ridha would seem to be a perfect match.
But this is how Ridha describes his time in College Station:
“The persecution and abuse. It was intolerable. It was pain. It was depression,” he said.
So what went wrong?
Both Ridha and his wife are Muslim and must pray five times a day.
They said colleagues and supervisors in the A&M Reproductive Sciences Lab taunted Mrs. Ridha about her prayers.
Ridha said they even desecrated his holy rug with feces from the research mouse cages.
Ridha said he complained to the dean and the university, only to be retaliated against.
So now, he’s suing.
Texas A&M said it can’t comment on cases involving pending litigation.
But the university’s internal investigation found that lab personnel had created “a hostile work environment” and ordered the staff to undergo diversity awareness and sensitivity training.
The university said took no further action against anyone the lab because they claim Ridha fabricated evidence in the case.
They said the pictures Ridha sent them as proof were taken after the alleged incidents.
Ridha said that is a misunderstanding and serves as further evidence of the discrimination against him.