Majlis Ash-Shura New York Calls for Immediate Reevaluation of Columbia and NYU’s Response to Peaceful Pro-Palestinian Protests Amidst Widespread Campus Tensions

New York, NY – Amid escalating tensions and the use of police force on campuses across the U.S., Majlis Ash-Shura of New York voices strong concern over the handling of peaceful pro-Palestinian protests at Columbia University and NYU, supporting the broader calls for divestment from companies with ties to Israel.

(New York, NY – 4/23/2024) Amid a wave of arrests and escalating tensions on campuses such as Yale, NYU, and notably Columbia University, where classes have transitioned to remote learning for the remainder of the semester, Majlis Ash-Shura: Islamic Leadership Council of New York condemns the disproportionate measures taken against peaceful protesters. The recent arrests of over 100 demonstrators at Columbia University and similarly aggressive responses at NYU raise serious concerns about the suppression of free speech and peaceful assembly.

Despite NYPD’s confirmation that the protesters at Columbia were peaceful, the university administration decided to enforce severe penalties, including suspensions and possible evictions. This reaction starkly contrasts with the peaceful nature of the protests as acknowledged by law enforcement and reported by observers.

The student protesters are not only exercising their rights to free expression but are also calling for their universities to divest from military weapons manufacturers and other corporations complicit in policies perceived as unjust towards Palestinians. These demands for ethical investment underscore the broader implications of university investment policies and the moral responsibilities of academic institutions.

Majlis Ash-Shura of New York stands in solidarity with the student demands for transparency and the ethical reassessment of university investments. We urge Columbia University and NYU administration to engage in dialogue with the student protesters rather than resorting to punitive actions that conflict with the principles of academic freedom and respect for student activism.

The Council calls for an immediate cessation of punitive measures against students at Columbia University and NYU and demands that all charges against protesters be dropped. Majlis Ash-Shura of New York also urges the administrations to reconsider their stance and to restore the rights and privileges of all affected students immediately.