The National Union of Students (NUS) has been criticised for not passing a motion condemning ISIS at its National Executive Committee, after some representatives had a problem with the wording.
The motion, which sought to condemn ISIS and support the Kurds, Syrians, Iraqis and others in the fight against the group, was deemed to “unfairly demonise all Muslims” and will be redrafted.
Anger in the Jewish community surfaced immediately, because Jewish students had warned the students’ executive body that passing boycott motion against Israel risked demonising all Jews, but despite this concern, the motion still passed.
On the failure to pass the motion criticising ISIS, an NUS spokeswoman said: “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.”
She continued: “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.”
The opposition to the wording came from Black Students Officer Malia Bouattia, among others. She said: “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.”
But proposer Daniel Cooper wrote: “I have looked again and again at the contents of the motion, yet I cannot track any Islamophobia or racism… There is a stranglehold of ‘identity politics’ on the student movement. This is an issue which needs to be discussed in more depth”.