NUS Islamic State motion rejected

NUS Islamic State motion rejected

The National Union of Students’ National Executive Committee has rejected a motion condemning the Islamic State and endorsing solidarity with the Kurds and Iraqi people after opponents, led by Malia Bouattia, above, branded it ‘Islamophobic’.

According to this National Secular Society report, the motion, which had previously been adopted by NUS Scotland, was proposed by Daniel Cooper, a member of the National Campaign Against Fees and Cuts (NCAFC), and co-written by Roza Salih, a recent graduate of Kurdish descent who is the Vice President Diversity & Advocacy at Strathclyde University’s student union.

Opposition to the motion was spearheaded by Malia Bouattia, the NUS’s Black Students Officer.

Cooper wrote that the motion had been blocked:

For astonishing and bewildering reasons.

Cooper said Bouattia claimed that the motion was “Islamophobic” and “pro USA intervention”, but clause 4 of the motion explicitly argued against US military intervention.

Cooper said that he was unable to counter these claims as the debate was moved on after only one round of speeches.

Cooper claimed that “there is a stranglehold of ‘identity politics’ on the student movement.” And that:

This is an issue which needs to be discussed in more depth, but essentially the idea is widespread that if a Liberation Officer opposes something, it must be bad.

Responding to Mr Cooper’s article, Bouattia and other members of the NUS NEC wrote:

We stand in complete solidarity with the Kurdish people against the recent attacks by ISIS and join many others in condemnation of their brutal actions. In doing so 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.

The NUS Black Students’ Campaign will be working with Kurdish students and the International Students Campaign to raise this issue within the NUS. A motion will be taken to the next NUS National Executive which truly reflects the situation. This motion will pose a condemnation of the politics and methods of ISIS as well as unequivocal support for the Kurdish people. It will in no way pander to Western imperialistic intervention or the demonisation of Muslim peoples.

Bouattia’s stance was backed by fellow NEC member and Labour councillor for Ockendon in Thurrock Aaron Kiely. In a tweet, since deleted,  Kiely wrote that her “amazing” speech had challenged the:

Western, racist narrative around ‘ISIS’.

The failure by the NUS to adopt the motion has been widely criticised online, including by The Tab, a national student newspaper and by members of a Kurdish solidarity group which held an anti-Isis protest in London last week.

Meanwhile, it was reported here that Islamic State supporters last month infiltrated Istanbul University. One student, Aysegul Korkut, 21, told of an incident in which baton-wielding youths strode across the Department of Literature, shouting “Allahu Akbar!”

Islamic State flags and books are starting to appear in religious bookshops in Turkey.

Islamic State flags and books are starting to appear in religious bookshops in Turkey.

Within minutes, she and other leftist students had been sucked into a fight, with both sides hurling glass bottles at each other and trashing a science fair set up in the main hall.

The September 26 clash, described to The Associated Press by Korkut and a half a dozen other university students, was the first in a series of fights at Istanbul University’s Beyazit campus.

There has been repeated violence since, and Turkish media have reported scores of arrests. On one day alone 42 students were detained when police broke up a fight in a courtyard adjoining the department. Several sticks – and a meat cleaver – were recovered from the scene.

Hat tip: Antony Niall (Istanbul report)

17 responses to “NUS Islamic State motion rejected”

  1. Trevor Blake says:

    I swear that I can remember a time when the left was as anti religious as it was anything else. As much no gods as it was no masters. The left accommodates Islam but I am sure Islam does not accommodate the left. There are women in Islamic state who would give anything to go to college – while these college women use their time to bite the nation’s hand that feeds them.

  2. Paul Cook says:

    Britain’s student movement is not like the French. Where it really has a voice to be heard. It never has been & it never will be. It couldn’t even catch a breath to US students, for example their protests against the Vietnam War. So in all honesty, in the bigger picture world, who cares what this woman said. I am sure the majority of the population of the UK, decent, honest, thoughtful working people, and students, will smile and move on. She is nothing. A statement made by someone of no importance.
    It doesn’t say if she is a muslim. But whether she is or not, she seems to have little common sense of what isis are actually doing. And to trot out without real thought these islamaphobic references is puerile and really boring.

  3. AgentCormac says:

    Zeid Ra’ad al Hussein, the new UN human rights commissioner, has described IS as ‘the antithesis of human rights’ and ‘a diabolical, potentially genocidal movement’. Malia Bouattia and her bunch of PC-obsessed cronies should get their heads from up their bloody student arses and call IS what it really is – a band of inhuman,murdering bastards inspired and driven by religion.

  4. barriejohn says:

    I agree with Paul Cook; what was the purpose of this motion in any case? And are Arabs classed as “black” nowadays?

    (S)tudying for an MPhil in Postcolonial Theory and Language.

    Say no more.

  5. A Confused Atheist says:

    It seems that the NUS is one of the last-surviving bastions of the old ‘New Labour’ regime that ruled the UK with an iron rod for thirteen years.

  6. Paul Cook says:


    Some of the most racist comments I have heard in my life were Arabs against blacks and Africans – my goodness!
    Arabs black! – they’d die if they thought they were termed black. Being darkened by the sun in Arabia means you are either a slave or low ‘caste’- only the lowest out all day being burnt from working in the sun.

  7. Norman Paterson says:

    Good to see that ISIS is definitely islamic then, if criticising it is islamophobic. Someone tell Obama.

    But really, I don’t see what business the NUS has in entertaining such motions in the first place. Their main interest should be the welfare of their students, here in the UK. When I was in the AUT (now UCU or something) it was the same: motions against drilling for oil on the moon, or whatever. I always voted against them. It’s good to think globally, but you can only act locally.

    As for Arabs and blacks – one of these enslaves the other. Guess which.

  8. andym says:

    As people have said,, both the NUS and their rejection of the motion are an irrelevance, as important as one of my farts.

    The Trotskyite/Leninist left have always been blatant opportunists, favouring anything that they thought undermined their opponents. This was Leninism . Infiltrate anything anti-establishment and use it for your own purposes.

    Until 1989 their causes were largely secular, because the opponents they could ally with were- Cuba, Vietnam, CND, feminism. Since the Satanic Verses outrages, they’ve seen more chance allying themselves with Islamofascism ,and have quite cynically turned a blind eye to their proposed allies’ misogyny and homophobia.

    Lenin called his western supporters “useful idiots.” I bet they have a similar but less complimentary name in the Middle East.

  9. Ivan says:

    It is my hope that others of the liberal left are, not before time, finally waking up to the fact that they have for the past couple of decades been supporting fascism.

  10. Matt Westwood says:

    @Ivan: There are, sadly, as many fascists in the left wing as there are on the right.

  11. John Coffin says:

    Of course the question remains: how did ‘progressive,’ ‘revolutionary,’ ‘Trotkyist/Leninist’groups become unanimous supporters of every murderous reactionary regime on Earth?

    Well, only the ones that want to kill Jews or Americans…

  12. Philip Smeeton says:

    Whatever you do, do not offend the Muslims. Even though they offend everything that you believe in.

  13. Brian Jordan says:

    NUS “black” students’ officers have form for this kind of thing. Remember the Birmingham burka fuss about a year ago?
    “National Union of Students’ black students’ officer Aaron Kielty has now set up a petition, which already has more than 2,000 signatures, calling on the college to reverse its decision.”
    (huffingtonpost 2013/09/11)
    IIRC, officer Kielty was not even a student at the time, being a Labour councillor for a London borough instead.
    Incidentally the young lady portrayed above is now said to be the victim of an “Islamophobic” witch-hunt:

  14. zombiehunter says:

    so the NUS is quick to criticise and ban that shitty blurred lines song from student unions but wont criticise a bunch of misogynistic psychotic religious nuts for fear of being seen as racist, unfuckingbelievable.

  15. barriejohn says:

    This, from the NSS site today, is well worth reading:

    The state’s adoption of ‘faith based’ approaches to address minority issues are increasingly marginalising women from minority backgrounds and denying them the right to participate in the wider political community as equal citizens, argues Pragna Patel.

    I don’t know what Ms Bouattia and her “sisters” would make of it!