ACTION ALERT: Demand end to SOAS student witch hunt

Islamic Human Rights Commission

30 June 2005

ACTION ALERT: IHRC demand end to SOAS student witch hunt

SOAS masters student Nasser Amin wrote an article in his university paper defending the right of Palestinians to resist occupation by violence. After the publication of the article Amin became the focus of a bitter witch hunt which resulted in him being reprimanded by SAOS University. The reprimand was published on the university’s official website without even informing Amin.

His article ‘when only violence will do’ was written in response to one published by Hamza Yusuf which said, in effect that Muslims in Palestine should ‘turn the other cheek’ when facing Israeli violent antagonism.

The Article was not extreme nor even unusual, and similar arguments have been used and promoted in academia e.g. by Professor Michael Neuman. The article was set in a context of open debate about the moral rights and wrongs of Palestinian resistance, and SOAS’s response is at best bizarre.

Amin has received death threats on Zionist websites, and calls have been made in parliament for action to be taken against him. This is not only unacceptable but has been fuelled by SOAS’s failure to defend academic freedom and moral discussion.

The incident is also being used by pro Israeli groups to justify a need for incitement to religious hatred legislation, clearly showing how this law, if passed, will be used against those criticizing the aggressive actions of the State Israel.

Instead of defending Amin from this witch hunt SOAS announced they had issued him a public reprimand. They did not follow correct procedure or allow him an opportunity to defend himself; in fact, they did not even bother to contact him.

This is yet another example of Zionists bullying anyone who speaks out against Israeli oppression and institutions buckling for fear of being labeled anti-Semitic

IHRC calls upon campaigners to contact Colin Bundy, principal at SOAS and demand:

1) An explanation as to why Amin was issued a formal reprimand without informing him or giving him a chance to defend himself against the allegations.

2) He retracts this reprimand.


Write to Colin Bundy at:
School of Oriental and African Studies
Professor Colin Bundy
Director and Principal
Thornhaugh Street
Russell Square

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“And what reason have you that you should not fight in the way of Allah and of the weak among the men and the women and the children, (of) those who say: Our Lord! Cause us to go forth from this town, whose people are oppressors, and give us from Thee a guardian and give us from Thee a helper.”

Holy Qur’an: Chapter 4, Verse 75

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