LONDON, United Kingdom - A third major university has voted to leave the British National Union of Students since it elected a pro-ISIS president. So far Hull, Lincoln and Newcastle have disaffiliated from the NUS since the election of Malia Bouattia, a Muslim who claimed her alma mater was a “zionist outpost.”
Ms Bouattia caused outrage across Britain when she organized the opposition to a motion condemning ISIS. At the time she claimed the motion was “Islamophobic” and would be seen as "pro-American." She won the day, because large numbers of communists on the National Executive Committee backed her position.
She is reported to have drafted a statement that read: “‘We recognize that condemnation of ISIS appears to have become a justification for war and blatant Islamophobia. This rhetoric exacerbates the issue at hand and in essence is a further attack on those we aim to defend.”
She followed up this success by taking the presidency of the NUS in April, from a far more moderate incumbent. According to the Huffington Post, Bouattia’s election led to immediate calls for disaffiliation from ten universities. If they all leave the NUS will become insolvent as it relies on membership fees to survive.
The President of the NUS has rarely been this high profile in the past, but concerns about Bouattia’s election has led to national and international media coverage. This was made worse when CageUK - a campaign group that supported the ISIS murderer Jihad John - publicly congratulated her on winning the presidency.
Despite her refusal to criticize the Islamic State, Bouattia has no such reservations about Israel and has been a fierce critic of the country for a number of years. She claimed the controversy around her election was a result of a campaign by “mainstream Zionist-led media.”
In the past she has also opposed the Middle East peace process claiming the talks between Israelis and Palestinians are “the strengthening of the colonial project.” Malia Bouattia claims she is not anti-semitic and is only opposed to zionism. She strongly denies claims from University Jewish Societies that she “sees a large Jewish society as a problem.”
Only one university has voted to stay in the NUS so far and that referendum was scheduled long before the Presidential election. There are allegations the motion to leave only failed because of a dirty tricks campaign by the NUS.
The campaign group ‘Exiter’ took to social media claiming members of ‘Stay With NUS’ were “running door to door harassing students.” The pro-NUS group deny the allegation, but this may not be enough to stop a second referendum at the University.
Cambridge University is voting on whether to leave the NUS today. British students are automatically enrolled in the NUS if they attend a university that is affiliated, they do have the legal right to opt out of the process but this bars them from being involved in their local student body. As a result such opt outs are rare.