NUS president suspended during investigation into antisemitism claims

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NUS president suspended during investigation into antisemitism claims

Shaima Dallali has been suspended from her role while QC Rebecca Tuck completes inquiry into antisemitism within the National Union of Students - but Muslim student body brands decision 'Islamophobic'

Lee Harpin is the Jewish News's political editor

Ex-NUS president Shaima Dallali was ousted from the union in November 2022 over antisemitism claims.
Ex-NUS president Shaima Dallali was ousted from the union in November 2022 over antisemitism claims.

The National Union of Students (NUS) has suspended its president Shaima Dallali while an independent investigation into allegations of antisemitism within the student body is completed.

Dalali’s suspension came after the conclusion of the first part of an inquiry carried out by the QC Rebecca Tuck QC into claims of discrimination against Jewish students.

Sources told Jewish News that the suspension was not part of any disciplinary action, but was viewed as being “appropriate” at this stage of the investigation.

Any sanctions against Dalali can be considered at the end of Tuck’s inquiry, which is still to look at the institutional record of the NUS.

An NUS spokesperson: “We cannot comment at this time as we are in the middle of an independent QC-led investigation into allegations of antisemitism. But as we have said before, we are prepared to take any and all actions recommended by Rebecca Tuck QC’s investigation.”

But the move – the first time an elected president of the NUS has been suspended in the body’s 100 year history – has sparked an immediate response from the Federation of Student Islamic Societies (Fosis), the national body for Muslim students in Britain.

They issued a statement on Friday threatening to launch a disaffiliation campaign against the NUS after the suspension of Dallali.

Fosis said the NUS had a track record of failing to help Muslim students acting in elected positions within the organisation and student unions across the country.

They added:”What Shaima is experiencing is a clear extension of institutional Islamophobia within the education sector, and it is apparent that NUS’ attitude towards Shaima is a manifestation of this oppression.”

Jewish News had previously reported how in a 2012 tweet Dallali shared an Islamic battle cry historically used when attacking Jews.

She wrote: “Khaybar Khaybar O Jews… Muhammad’s army will return Gaza.” The 27-year-old later apologised for the tweet, saying she is “a different person”.

Dallali had also opposed the IHRA definition of antisemitism at City University, where she was previously student president.

Her suspension comes after the Government cut ties with the NUS in May.

The then-education secretary Nadhim Zahawi said he was “seriously concerned’”at the number of reports of alleged antisemitism linked to the NUS at the time.

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