The Calicut University authorities have decided to withdraw the poem Ode to the Sea written by suspected Al-Qaeda terrorist Ibrahim al-Rubaish, from the syllabus for degree level studies.
Vice-Chancellor M Abdul Salam took the decision on the basis of a report submitted by Faculty of Language and Literature Dean M M Basheer.
“It is a good poem from the literary point of view. However, given the controversial background of the author including the poem in the degree syllabus goes against ethical values. Hence, it is better to remove the poem from the textbook,” the report noted.
The Vice-Chancellor’s office confirmed that the report had been approved and sent to the University Registrar’s office to issue an order to immediately remove the poem from the third semester textbook — Literature and Contemporary Issues.
“I submitted the report after going through the available details about the author.
It is learnt that he may still be actively involved in extremist activities, so including his poem in a text book goes against the ethics. My recommendations are based on this observation and I stand by them,” said Basheer.
A Saudi national and a former Guantanamo Bay detainee, Ibrahim al-Rubaish alias Ibrahim Sulayman Muhammad Arbaysh is reportedly still active in the ranks of Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP).
A CNN report dated July 18, 2013 -- on the death of AQAP’s deputy leader and co-founder, Saeed al-Shihri, in drone attack by America in Yemen -- noted that “AQAP’s video message confirming the death of Shihri was delivered by Ibrahim al-Rubaish, another Saudi who was also earlier held at Guantanamo Bay”.
Ibrahim al-Rubaish’s name is reportedly included in the Saudi Interior Ministry’s 2009 list of most wanted terrorists.