A professor of geography at the University of Moscow demanded a Jewish student in his class, about to take an exam, remove his kippah. The professor defended his remarks, saying that no student, regardless of his or her religion, should be allowed to wear a hat in class.

Man wearing a kippa (Illustration)

Man wearing a kippa (Illustration) Photo Credit: Boles Shikmim/Wikimedia Commons

On Monday, a professor at the University of Moscow demanded a Jewish student remove his kippah before taking an exam. The student told Israel News Company that he was “shocked” and had thought that “nowadays, we don’t have these problems anymore,” apparently referring to anti-Semitism.

The student, Levy Boroda, further stated to Israel News Company that this type of language “should be banned” and that “any anti-Semitic…sentences and sayings are banned and just wrong for this time.” He added that the professor should be punished for his behavior.

The SOVA Center for Information and Analysis reported the incident on Tuesday as a hate crime. The professor told a Moscow news agency that his statements and rules were irrelevant to the student being Jewish and that he would have acted the same if the student were of any religion wearing a hat in his class, the Israeli report added. The head of the Geography Department, which the professor is a part of, stood in support of the professor. The university responded stating that all students have religious freedom on campus including the right to wear religious garments.

When Boroda was asked if he will continue to wear his kippah, he stated that he will always wear his kippah and that he is very proud to be allowed the religious freedom to do so. Boroda petitioned the university and was permitted to take the exam under the supervision of another professor.