Politics

Islamophobia Prompts Student Union To Not Denounce Islamic State

| by Kathryn Schroeder

Britain’s National Union of Students has rejected a motion to condemn Islamic State terrorists because it may be seen as ‘Islamophobia.’

The London Evening Standard reports the National Executive Council made the decision because accepting it would represent a “justification for war.”

The motion stated in part to "support Iraqi, Syrian and other international students in the UK affected by this situation," to "condemn the IS and support the Kurdish forces fighting against it, while expressing no confidence or trust in the US military intervention," and to "encourage students to boycott anyone found to be funding the IS or supplying them with goods, training, travel or soldiers."

Students who were asked about the motion rejected it was racist, and that it was related to “identity politics.”

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A group of students blocked the motion, claiming that “condemnation of ISIS appears to have become a justification for war and blatant Islamaphobia.”

Daniel Cooper, who tabled the original motion, is against those who blocked it finding no proof to their claims.

"I have looked again and again at the contents of the motion, yet I cannot track any Islamophobia or racism," Cooper said.

"There is a stranglehold of 'identity politics' on the student movement,” Cooper added.

VICE News interviewed Aaron Kiely of the NUS National Executive, one of the members who opposed the motion.

“I voted against the motion because I oppose the current bombing campaign,” Kiely said. “I am also concerned about the rise of Islamophobia that has been whipped up in society. Just to be clear again, I am totally opposed to ISIS and I believe that the bombing campaign will only serve to strengthen terrorism in the region, as Western intervention has to date.”

When Kiely was questioned as to whether he views ISIS as engaging in war, he said, “oh absolutely, they’re a barbaric terrorist organization that have committed many atrocities, but I don’t think the way to stop them is by a bombing campaign from Britain and the United States. I think it will actually strengthen things for them, and unfortunately they would grow from it, something we've seen from nearly every experience of previous wars.”

The NUS issued the following statement in regards to the ruling:

"At our most recent NEC meeting, a motion on this issue was presented and voted on by all members. Some committee members felt that the wording of the motion being presented would unfairly demonise all Muslims rather than solely the group of people it set out to rightfully condemn.

"NUS does not support ISIS and a new motion will be taken to the next NUS National Executive Committee meeting, which will specifically condemn the politics and methods of ISIS and offer solidarity for the Kurdish people."

Photo Source: London Evening Standard