The National Union of Students (NUS) has suspended its president Shaima Dallali while an independent investigation into allegations of anti-Semitism within the student body is completed.
Dalali’s suspension came after the conclusion of the first part of an investigation by QC Rebecca Tuck QC into allegations of discrimination against Jewish students.
Sources told Jewish News the suspension was not part of any disciplinary action, but was considered “appropriate” at this stage of the investigation.
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Any sanction against Dalali may be considered at the end of Tuck’s investigation, which must still look into the institutional file of the NUS.
A NUS spokesperson: “We cannot comment at this time as we are in the midst of an independent investigation by QC into allegations of anti-Semitism. But as we have said before, we are ready to take all the measures recommended by Rebecca Tuck QC’s investigation.
But the move – the first time an elected NUS president has been suspended in its 100-year history – prompted an immediate response from the Federation of Islamic Student Societies (Fosis), the national body for Muslim students in Greater -Brittany.
They released a statement on Friday threatening to launch a disaffiliation campaign against NUS after Dallali was suspended.
Fosis said NUS has a history of not helping Muslim students in elective positions within the organization and student unions across the country.
They added, “What Shaima is experiencing is a clear extension of institutional Islamophobia in the education sector, and it is evident that NUS’s attitude towards Shaima is a manifestation of this oppression.”
Jewish News previously reported how, in a 2012 tweet, Dallali shared an Islamic war cry historically used to attack Jews.
She wrote: “Khaybar Khaybar O Jews… Muhammad’s army will return to Gaza. The 27-year-old then apologized for the tweet, saying she was “a different person”.
Dallali had also opposed the IHRA’s definition of anti-Semitism at City University, where she previously served as student president.
His suspension comes after the government severed ties with the NUS in May.
Then-Education Secretary Nadhim Zahawi said he was “seriously concerned” about the number of reports of alleged anti-Semitism linked to NUS at the time.