On May 18, 2014, Haitham Qasim Muhammad, an Acting-Dean of Financial and Administrative Affairs in the College of Engineering at al-Nahrain University, formerly Saddam University, was murdered by unidentified perpetrators. The incident occurred inside Dean Muhammad’s home, in the Zayouna neighborhood in Baghdad city center. As of this report, no one claimed responsibility for the crime.
Scholars at Risk is concerned about the apparently targeted killing of a higher education professional. In addition to the harm to the immediate victim, such incidents have a chilling effect on academic freedom and institutional autonomy. State officials have a responsibility to ensure the security of higher education communities, to prevent future attacks, and to hold perpetrators of violent attacks accountable.