Adams' piece on Merghani was published in response to an incident in August in which Secret Service agents questioned her about her Facebook post regarding Donald Trump's visit to the campus.
In the post, Merghani, who is the founder of the Muslim Student Association at UNCW, said, "Expect to see me at the Trump rally on Tuesday. Y’all are not prepared for what I’m about to do." It ended with, “All I can say is pray I make it out of this alive.”
While the agents were satisfied that Merghani did not pose any threat, Adams wrote, "That sounds like a suicide mission for those who have never met Merghani."
He also described Merghani as "the most frightening type of student imaginable ... A self-described 'queer Muslim social justice warrior.'"
In a Tumblr post responding to Adams' piece, Merghani detailed allegations of troubling online interactions with the "tenured professor."
Merghani told BuzzFeed News in late November that she was leaving UNCW because Adams' behavior took a "toll on me emotionally and severely affected my academic journey."
Merghani said that since she was from a country where being gay is punishable by death, she was very careful about the platforms she chose to identify herself as a queer Muslim woman and often changed her last name to protect her identity. "People were shocked that [Adams] outed me and used my full name in his article," Merghani said.
Adams called Merghani's notion that he "outed" her "comical" and said she "outed herself."
In an email to BuzzFeed News on Tuesday, Nov. 29, Adams said, "The notion that I somehow 'outed' her in my column is comical. She is the founder of the Muslim Student Association and President of a gay pride group. She 'outed' herself when she consented to an interview with the College Fix. Furthermore, her accusations against me of instigating threats have now been investigated and proven false."
In a statement to BuzzFeed News on Nov. 29 a UNCW spokesperson said, "We are deeply disappointed by the use of hateful, hurtful language to degrade a fellow human being, even when that language is legally protected speech. However, we have fully investigated this matter and believe we have done all we are able to do to support the student involved, given that the comments were not made in a UNCW living, learning or working environment or otherwise affiliated with the faculty member’s role at UNCW."
In an earlier statement following a review of the incident, the university had said that Adams' opinions were protected by the First Amendment.
"Dr. Adams’s online column and social media presence represent his personal expressions and opinions on a variety of topics," the statement said. "These expressions and opinions are neither within the requested scope of Dr. Adams’s duties with the university, nor do they represent the views of this institution. However, they are expressions protected by the First Amendment to the United States Constitution."
The university also said it had not found evidence that Adams had "improperly released any private or confidential information to the student, or violated the Family Education Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA)" and that there was no evidence of "unlawful discrimination" by him toward Merghani per the school's harassment policy.
"Finally, Dr. Adams’s conduct and written material do not contain any evidence of a true threat toward this or any other student," the statement said.
Merghani said that while she supported the petition to get Adams fired, she was focused on holding the UNCW administration accountable for "allowing this to happen" and for "protecting" him.
"If Mike Adams wasn’t given a platform, if he didn’t have access to young impressionable minds, he would be another angry internet troll."