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The NUS’s shameful response to ISIS and Kobane

As Daniel Cooper over at Shiraz Socialist reports, the NUS NEC has voted down a motion calling for solidarity with the Kurds who are battling ISIS.

The motion was opposed by Malia Bouattia, the NUS Black Students’ Officer, for astonishing and bewildering reasons. Bouattia argued that the motion was “Islamophobic” and “pro USA intervention” – (see Aaron Kiely, a fellow NUS NEC member’s, tweet during the meeting as reflective of the position). The motion then fell as large numbers of NEC members either abstained or voted against (including the bulk of the political Left on NEC). I think this says a lot about the current state of the student movement.

Kiely described Bouattia’s speech as ‘amazing’, because it challenged ‘the Western racist narrative around ISIS’.  The logic behind a choice to support (or at least not condemn) utterly ruthless and barbaric non-white Muslims while showing complete indifference for secular non-white Muslims beggars belief.

Daniel Cooper’s verdict on the NEC is damning:

Some appear not to research issues, work out what they think, engage and take ideas forward. Instead, some are not very interested and vote on basis of who they want to ally with on NEC. In other words, many people who voted against didn’t seem to care about is happening in Iraq.

As Howie puts it:

People need to learn to challenge, to think for themselves, to stand up for what they beleive in which is what I always thought higher education was for.
Sadly not in the National Union of Students.

Hat Tip: Chris Moos