UEA academics sign petition to protest US conferences

The boycott will last until the ‘Muslim ban’ is completely lifted

In response to Trump’s executive order banning immigration from seven Muslim-majority countries, academics from around the world have signed a petition in solidarity with staff affected by the order. The petition calls for a boycott of all US conferences until the ban, which has been temporarily halted by federal judges, is completely lifted.

The petition was put together by an international group of academics called Educators not Informants. Titled “In Solidarity with People Affected by the ‘Muslim Ban’: Call for an Academic Boycott of International Conferences held in the US” so far it has garnered over 6,000 signatures, 23 of which are from UEA.

Dr Nadine El-Enany, Law lecturer at Birkbeck University of London one of the academics behind the petition, stated “It was a feeling of revulsion and shock and disgust – but not a feeling of surprise – at the ban,” that drove her and others to create the petition, “at the realisation of the effect it was having on so many people.”

Dr El-Enany had strong feelings against Trump’s administration, stating that its action meant it was “no longer business as usual”. “Realistically, we’re dealing with a fascist administration,” she stated. “The presence of the alt-right and the makeup of the Trump team mean we can’t be under any illusions as to its true colours.”

We reached out to a number of the UEA academics who signed the petition to find out their reasons for signing and whether they felt there was a responsibility for academics in particular to challenge policies such as the ‘Muslim ban’. As of yet though none have replied.