Students Denied Society Say Judgment Is Racist

The Birmingham Post (England), April 20, 2002 | Go to article overview

Students Denied Society Say Judgment Is Racist


Byline: Richard Warburton

Palestinian students at a top Midland university are considering legal action over claims they are the victims of racism from decisions made against them by the Students' Union.

More than 20 students at the University of Birmingham are threatening to take the Guild of Students to court because they were refused permission to set up their own society.

The guild, which runs more than 150 clubs and societies, threw out a proposal for a Palestinian group, claiming it was not convinced of its motives.

The decision comes six months after the guild banned an extreme Islamic group from attending the freshers' fair on the grounds it was trying to recruit students to fight in Afghanistan following the attack on the World Trade Centre.

Guild president Catherine Little said concerns over the intentions were behind not giving the group the go ahead.

'All societies have to submit their aims and objectives and they said they wanted a forum to debate the situation in Palestine,' she said.

'If their aims were to look after the interests of Palestinian students, such as arranging cultural events for them, then we wouldn't have a problem. But we are not convinced of that.'

She added that there was also worries that the group may insight racial hated on the Selly Oak campus and that the guild is not racist.

'We have had Jewish students verbally threatened in the past over the situation in Palestine,' she said.

'They claim the Jewish society on campus is pro-Israeli, but it isn't. …

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