As a coalition of more than 300 organizations around the country, the US Campaign for Palestinian Rights stands in solidarity with Fordham Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) and decries the repressive tactics of the Fordham administration as it works to ban SJP and intimidate students standing up for freedom, justice, and equality.
SJP chapters on more than 150 campuses across the United States are a critical part of the fabric of progressive campus coalitions and organizing. Fordham’s repression will only bolster the conviction of a growing, global, mass movement to end Israel’s oppression of the Palestinian people and to hold accountable the many institutions that enable that oppression, such as Fordham with its ban.
Support for Israel’s abuses and repression of its critics in the U.S. is broadly and directly intertwined — financially and institutionally — with the Islamophobia industry now elevated by the rise of Donald Trump and his racist, xenophobic, homophobic, transphobic, misogynistic, pro-Israel and anti-semitic cohort. Zionist advocates advance Islamophobia to justify Israel’s denial of basic rights to Palestinians while Islamophobia is used to justify U.S. aggression against Muslim and Arab communities globally. In this context, Fordham’s ban on organizing for freedom and equality for Palestinians can be characterized as Fordham’s own unique version of Trump’s Muslim ban, akin in spirit to Trump’s heinous and illegal attempts to criminalize and dehumanize Muslims by banning Muslims from entering the U.S. or conflating activism for human rights with extremism.
Fordham’s chilling silencing of free speech and academic freedom for students shows Fordham aligning itself with the most controversial and grotesque manifestations of Trump’s white supremacist regime. Perhaps it should come as no surprise that Donald Trump himself was educated at Fordham. Trump’s and Fordham’s evolving legacies of bigotry, Islamophobia, and discrimination are now clearly conjoined in the minds of people worldwide, and in the history books to come.
We call on Fordham to immediately reverse its discriminatory ban and to turn its legacy around toward instead protecting academic freedom and supporting the time-honored tradition of students organizing on the front lines for a more just world.