Ex SU official condemns Cardiff Uni as institutionally racist
He says there’s a ‘culture of racism’
Cardiff SU's outgoing welfare officer, Amr Alwishah, has accused Cardiff Uni and the SU of being "institutionally racist" and talked about a "culture of racism" around the university.
Amr has published a report, given talks, and held protests where he has detailed experiences of racism by him and other Cardiff students.
At an event "Anaphalxis & Beyond" on 14th March, Amr showed screenshots of a Cardiff Tab article on the SU elections, saying that the criticisms reported in the article were made because he is Muslim.
He said he was wrongly labelled as homophobic, anti-Semitic, a liar, harassed online and accused of using "dirty tactics".
He also said that after the election someone with access to his SU office left a post-it-note that read "Liar" on his desk.
Amr said: "I was targeted, discriminated against and disrespected. I was accused of doing things I haven’t done, I was abused on social media, my posters were being ripped down, my privacy was invaded and there were even people abusing my family online. I think all of this abuse, character assassination and harassment is merely because of my race and religion."
Amr's election opponent Jackie Yip was also recently involved in a racism row with former President Fadhila al Dhahouri.
— Amr Alwishah BEng (@AlwishahAmr) July 3, 2019
Amr told The Cardiff Tab: "I received various Islamophobic comments such as 'The old SU president and her lackey, Amr, think they're on a mission from Allah or some shit, and that involves not supporting gays' and 'Amr was so hurt by his staggering defeat by Jackie that his hatred for himself manifested on his family in the form of homophobia.'
"I formally complained about these comments (and several more) to Cardiff University, and they dismissed my complaint without conducting an investigation."
He said the uni instead chose to investigate him, and told him to take his videos down.
At a protest held outside main building, Amr said: "Cardiff University is institutionally racist, institutionally Islamophobic and institutionally discriminatory" and that it tried to "silence" protestors."
I was elected to represent a diverse student body. I was elected to be a voice for the voiceless, to represent, empower and fight for justice for the students that have elected me.
In my last week in office I decided it's time for the world to hear the struggles of BME students. pic.twitter.com/phgmSomReM
— Amr Alwishah BEng (@AlwishahAmr) June 30, 2019
Amr's grievances have been raised in the Senedd by Plaid Cymru AM Bethan Jenkins and supported by groups such as Stand up to Racism.
A spokesperson for the SU said: "We are supporting an on-going investigation into a number of individual allegations of student behaviour concerns and are communicating directly with all parties involved."
Amr said: "I'm grateful for the opportunity that the SU have given me last year in challenging institutional racism at Cardiff University."