NUS refuses to condemn ISIS terrorists…because it’s ‘Islamophobic’

Read the motion and judge for yourself

Murderous ISIS militants secured a victory on British soil – when the National Union of Students voted against a motion to condemn them.

Hand-wringing delegates at the NUS blocked a vote to show solidarity with Iraqi Kurds and condemn Islamic State militants because they say it’s “Islamophobic”.

The bill called for the Union – which claims to represent UK students – to support unity between Muslims, condemn the bloody terror of ISIS (also known as the Islamic State), and support a boycott on people who fund the militants.

But the motion offended Black Students Officer Malia Bouattia, who said: “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.”

In the same meeting the NUS passed a motion to boycott UKIP and email every student in the country on polling day telling them to do the same – effectively meaning they find it easier to condemn UKIP than ISIS.

Malia Bouattia 2

Malia Bouattia said condemning ISIS has become a justification for ‘war and blatant Islamophobia’

Alan Henning

ISIS militants beheaded aid worker Alan Henning two weeks ago

She led a bloc who either abstained or voted against the proposal – leading to the bill’s defeat at the NUS NEC (National Executive Council) meeting in September.

Birmingham student Bouattia says she plans to put forward another motion in the next meeting to condemn ISIS that “will in no way pander to Western imperialistic intervention or the demonisation of Muslim peoples.”

ISIS has wreaked misery in Syria and Iraq, slaughtering thousands of Kurds and other Iraqis, raping and kidnapping women, beheading innocent victims including British aid workers Alan Henning and David Haines.

Baffled delegates pointed out the motion specifically expressed “no confidence or trust in the US military intervention”.

Roza Salih, a student of Kurdish descent, had worked on the resolution for the NUS to condemn the Islamic State and to campaign for democracy in Iraq.

Would you support it? Read the motion in full and vote

Iraqi/Kurdish solidarity

Proposed: Daniel Cooper
Seconded: Shreya Paudel, Clifford Fleming

NUS National Executive Committee notes:

1. The ongoing humanitarian crisis and sectarian polarisation in Iraq – which has resulted in thousands of Yazidi Kurds being massacred.

NUS NEC believes

1. That the people of Iraq have suffered for years under the sectarian and brutally repressive dictatorship of Saddam Hussein, the US/UK invasion and occupation, the current sectarian regime linked to both the US and Iran, and now the barbaric repression of the “Islamic State” organisation.

2. That rape and other forms of sexual violence are being used as weapons against women in IS-occupied areas, while minorities are being ethnically cleansed.

NUS NEC resolves

1. To work with the International Students’ Campaign to support Iraqi, Syrian and other international students in the UK affected by this situation.

2. To campaign in solidarity with the Iraqi people and in particular support the hard-pressed student, workers’ and women’s organisations against all the competing nationalist and religious-right forces.

3. To support Iraqis trying to bridge the Sunni-Shia divide to fight for equality and democracy, including defence of the rights of the Christian and Yazidi-Kurd minorities.

4. To condemn the IS and support the Kurdish forces fighting against it, while expressing no confidence or trust in the US military intervention.

5. Encourage students to boycott anyone found to be funding the IS or supplying them with goods, training, travel or soldiers.

6. To make contact with Iraqi and Kurdish organisations, in Iraq and in the UK, in order to build solidarity and to support refugees.

7. To issue a statement on the above basis.



The vote took place at the NUS National Exec and was reported by proposer Daniel Cooper on his blog.

He wrote: “I have looked again and again at the contents of the motion, yet I cannot track any Islamophobia or racism.”

He added: “There is a stranglehold of ‘identity politics’ on the student movement. 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.”

Aaron Kiely tweeted support for the motion's failure, although his tweet now appears to have been deleted

Aaron Kiely tweeted support for the motion’s failure, although his tweet now appears to have been deleted

ISIS have overrun huge areas of Iraq and Syria

ISIS have overrun huge areas of Iraq and Syria

Speaking on behalf of the Black Students’ campaign, Malia Bouttia said yesterday she planned a new motion and emphasised her support for Kurds.

She said: “The NUS Black Students’ Campaign stands in support of Black communities across the globe and uncompromisingly against imperialism and Western interference which history shows all too often leads to the suffering of Black people.

“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.”

Meanwhile, in Kobane…

  • What?

    I’m really struggling to see any sense to any of this.
    A) How can it be Islamophobic to take the side of the Kurds, when most of the inhabitants of Kurdistan who are being attacked are Muslim?
    B) Many Muslims claim that ISIS is nothing to do with Islam. Again, if this is the case, how can condemning them be Islamophobic?
    C) “In doing so we recognise that condemnation of ISIS appears to have become a justification for war and blatant Islamaphobia.” So is she suggesting that the claims of rape being used by ISIS are false, and the calls for boycotts against anyone supporting them are Islamophobic as a result?
    D) Since when did the NUS “condemning” anything matter at all? What does that accomplish? Hardly going to result in world peace, is it.

    Ridiculous. I’m ashamed to be a part of this generation sometimes.

  • Lily

    so they will condemn and boycott israel, but wont condemn an actual terrorist organisation???
    (whatever you believe about israel they arent, by definition, a terrorist organisation, and ISIS are)

  • shottsj

    The Kurds are Moslems. Or didn’t they know?

  • Richard ‘rawlo’ Rawlinson

    Dear NUS,
    Hands up all of you who have actually been to war and seen first hand what these Islamic Extremists are capable of and the atrocities that they have caused?
    No one?
    Well shut the **** up then!
    You lot are just like our government – you have no clue. You listen to the news and read newspapers and think that this entitles you comment on a subject you only know maybe 25% of the facts on. I really can not wait till you leave the confines of your student accommodation and enter the real world, you are so in for a shock.

  • David

    Never get anywhere in life sitting on the fence.
    Have an opinion!!!!

  • Alyson Cruise

    “It is neither Islamic, nor is it a State. The group has no standing with faithful Muslims, nor among the international community of nations,” a letter to David Cameron signed by the Islamic Society of Britain and the Association of Muslim Lawyers, said.

    Could you please shut the fuck up about what Muslims are desperate for and recognise the language issues in the NUS motion, specifically the use of a term (“Islamic State”) that is both 1) false 2) objected to by Muslims on the grounds that it’s harmful?

    You are welcome to disagree with the NUS’ reasoning, but it might be fun if you found out what it actually is before trying to do so.

  • Michael

    Any one that would defend the nutty muslem “religion” must be delusional. All religions are nutty but islam takes the cake.

  • Rowan

    The only affect an NUS decision will have either way is on British university students. I mean, okay, maybe there’s a slim chance they’ll affect whether a student who’s been radicalised and wants to aid or join ISIS (I’ll always call them that, why would we ever let them live down the time they accidentally named themselves after a pagan goddess?) will actually go through with doing so, but really the issue is how it affects students here.

    If someone’s yelling about how bad ISIS is, it’s possible that they’re an Islamophobe who doesn’t care about the difference between Islam and ISIS, except insofar as it’s harder to debate that ISIS is bad. I mean, how many of the people who already hate and condemn Islam are likely to not condemn ISIS? Zero. How many of them make sure everyone’s all on the same page about the fact that it’s Islam they hate, not just the one group everyone agrees is bad? Haha why would anyone do that. Islamophobes can use “ISIS” as a code word for “Islam, all of it”, and get some non-Islamophobes to actually join in with their two-minute-hate.

    Of course, the NUS is anti-racist enough that this isn’t about them deciding not to do what I described above, the problem is that Islamophobes using it as a dogwhistle has poisoned the well a bit, and the fact that some people say/hear “ISIS” and mean/think “Islam” – in addition to the fact that many Muslims know about all this and will feel appropriately threatened if everyone around them is speaking in Islamophobic dogwhistles – means you are actually going to hurt some people’s feelings if you come out against ISIS.

    On the positive side, for people who correctly perceive “ISIS is evil” to mean “ISIS is evil”, you’ve got them to feel very slightly better about themselves for being a member of an organisation that has called the Evil League of Evil “evil”.

    Even if the whole thing I said about Islamophobia is bullshit, and only the positive side of the tradeoff exists, slacktivism that just makes first-worlders feel better for pretending to have done a thing is hardly a hill worth dying on.

  • Albert Zbingswiki

    Give it 5 years, maybe less, before simply not being a Muslim has been described by some ridiculously right-on body as an act of massive Islamophobia.

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