NUS President Contender in Scandal of Alleged Anti-Semitism

By Joe Young - Deputy Culture Editor

NUS Presidential Contender Malia Bouattia

National Union of Students Presidential Candidate and current Black Students’ Officer Malia Bouattia is currently embroiled in the middle of a row about anti-semitism. The Society Leaders of more than 50 Jewish Societies up and down the country have been asking Ms Bouattia, in an open letter, “Why do you see a large Jewish society as a problem?”

Leaders of these societies issued the letter as a reaction to an article Bouattia co-authored in 2011, where she described the University of Birmingham, who at the time had one of the largest Jewish Societies in the country, as a “Zionist outpost”, and acknowledged that a speaker invited by her society  made a comparison between Israel and the Nazis”

The open letter continued to state:

“We fear that comments such as these will only hamper the amazing interfaith relations present on campuses across the country. Describing large Jewish societies as a challenge is the politics of division and not solidarity which should be the case.”

The authors asked Bouattia to discuss her relationship” with the Muslim Public Affairs Committee (MPAC), an organisation that the NUS no-platformed in 2004, annd, Raza Nadim, a spokesperson for MPAC who publicly endorsed her candidacy on Facebook, something Bouattia was grateful for. MPAC describe one of their core principles as “reviving the fard (obligation) of jihad”

In an open letter, Bouatia replied,

“I want to be clear that for me to take issue with Zionist politics, is not me taking issue with being Jewish. In fact, Zionist politics are held by people from a variety of different backgrounds and faiths, as are anti-Zionist politics. Is is a political argument, not one of faith. We should be allowed to disagree on politics without this being a threat to the solidarity of the student movement. Debate and disagreement are vital to any healthy democracy.”

The UCLan Students’ Union have sent seven delegates to the NUS Conference. Watch this space for a report on their experiences upon their return.


What do you think of the allegations made against Malia Bouattia? Let us know @UCLanPluto or leave a comment below

About Joe Young 316 Articles
Joe Young has been involved with student media for a very long time now, holding posts within The Pulse, and Pulse Radio, as well as the predecessor of The Pulse, Pluto. He is currently Politics Editor of The Pulse, and Head of News of Pulse Radio. In 2016, he won the Media Award for Best Article for his coverage of the Fishergate Shopping Centre bomb scare.

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