When even Muslim organizations are condemning ISIS left and right, one organization refuses to do so. That’s right—it’s the National Union of Students, the British students’ organization. And below is the motion up for approval at their convention, according to The Tab, an Oxford student news site:
Proposed: Daniel Cooper
Seconded: Shreya Paudel, Clifford Fleming
NUS National Executive Committee notes:
1. The ongoing humanitarian crisis and sectarian polarisation in Iraq – which has resulted in thousands of Yazidi Kurds being massacred.
NUS NEC believes
1. That the people of Iraq have suffered for years under the sectarian and brutally repressive dictatorship of Saddam Hussein, the US/UK invasion and occupation, the current sectarian regime linked to both the US and Iran, and now the barbaric repression of the “Islamic State” organisation.
2. That rape and other forms of sexual violence are being used as weapons against women in IS-occupied areas, while minorities are being ethnically cleansed.
NUS NEC resolves
1. To work with the International Students’ Campaign to support Iraqi, Syrian and other international students in the UK affected by this situation.
2. To campaign in solidarity with the Iraqi people and in particular support the hard-pressed student, workers’ and women’s organisations against all the competing nationalist and religious-right forces.
3. To support Iraqis trying to bridge the Sunni-Shia divide to fight for equality and democracy, including defence of the rights of the Christian and Yazidi-Kurd minorities.
4. To condemn the IS and support the Kurdish forces fighting against it, while expressing no confidence or trust in the US military intervention.
5. Encourage students to boycott anyone found to be funding the IS or supplying them with goods, training, travel or soldiers.
6. To make contact with Iraqi and Kurdish organisations, in Iraq and in the UK, in order to build solidarity and to support refugees.
7. To issue a statement on the above basis.
Pretty straightforward and leftie: it even condemns the US and UK intervention in Iraq. What’s not to like if you’re on the left? Well, there’s that annoying little matter of Islamophobia. Apparently to some minds twisted by this brand of “liberalism,” condemning ISIS can’t be done because it constitutes a blanket condemnation of all Muslims.
So the NUS didn’t bring it to a vote. As the Tab reports:
Hand-wringing delegates at the NUS blocked a vote to show solidarity with Iraqi Kurds and condemn Islamic State militants because they say it’s “Islamophobic”.
The bill called for the Union – which claims to represent UK students – to support unity between Muslims, condemn the bloody terror of ISIS (also known as the Islamic State), and support a boycott on people who fund the militants.
But the motion offended Black Students Officer Malia Bouattia, who said: “We recognise that condemnation of ISIS appears to have become a justification for war and blatant Islamaphobia.
“This rhetoric exacerbates the issue at hand and in essence is a further attack on those we aim to defend.”
Bouttia also said that the resolution contributed to “the demonization of Muslim peoples.”
It’s truly bizarre that while many Muslims themselves are able to make the distinction between “ISIS” and “Islam,” and to disassociate themselves from the barbarity of the former, the British students are unable to do so. It is like saying one cannot condemn neo-Nazis because that is a blanket condemnation of Germans.
Such students are reprehensible: their thinking is muddled and their cowardice shameful.