Dear President Hamilton and the NYU Community,
On January 31, 2017, NYU Students for Justice in Palestine received an email threatening to disclose our members’ immigration statuses, religious affiliations, and other personal information to US and Israeli federal agencies. The message specifically targeted our Muslim and Arab members. The message reads:
“ATTENTION MUSLIMS, ARABS AND OTHER ‘ANTI-ZIONIST’ CAMPUS TROLLS: Your names, image, friends list, postings, family member id’s and other personal info. will be submitted — in conjunction with other collected data sets — and sent to the following Federal Agencies…”
The email also threatens to “crush” SJP chapters and BDS supporters at Rutgers University, Vassar College, UCLA, and the California State University system, in addition to Black Lives Matter and LGBT groups that support Palestinian rights. The message concludes: “By the Sword of David, we will smash your collective skulls together online, and shatter your futures to pieces. And, Muzz/Arabs; It’ll be a Family Affair for you. That is a promise you may wish to meditate upon before ruining your family’s lives.”
This comes less than a week after President Donald Trump issued the executive order known as the “Muslim ban,” which has allowed the US CBP to illegally detain hundreds of travelers. As the administration is well aware, the ban–despite being temporarily suspended–has already impacted NYU staff, faculty, and students. This direct threat on vulnerable members of our community cannot be ignored.
This is the second email threatening violence against NYU-SJP. In August 2016, NYU-SJP received an email from “FIST OF ZION” with the subject “F*CKING UP YOUR HAJI PROGRAM.” The email threatened to “RAPE [OUR] ORGANIZATION LEAVING NO HOLES” and said that SJP was “swimming in a campus fish bowl.” NYU refused requests to publicly condemn these threats.
In light of the disturbing political developments of the past three weeks, and the potential for more anti-immigrant and anti-Muslim legislation from the Trump administration, we demand that NYU stand in solidarity with all members of our community. We urge the NYU administration to:
- Voice its unequivocal opposition to threats on students and student organizations.
- Carry out an investigation on the legitimacy of these threats.
- Finally, we join NYU Sanctuary Campus in demanding that President Hamilton declare our campus a sanctuary campus immediately.
“This email, and what it proposes, is a direct challenge to how far our communities will go to protect one another’s free speech and general safety. It also sends a message to all immigrant communities: showing all of us that we must stand together, regardless of who we are, against this type of xenophobia and hatred,” says NYU Student Khalid A. “Additionally, this email shows that our narrative as Palestinians stands in constant threat as we continue to seek justice for our indigenous peoples.”
NYU Students for Justice in Palestine
Black Student Union at NYU
NYU GSOC-UAW 2110
LUCHA at NYU (Latinos Unidos Con Honor y Amistad)
NYU Incarceration to Education Coalition
NYU International Socialist Organization
Student Labor Action Movement at NYU
NYU Muslim Students Association
International Rescue Committee at NYU
Arab Students United at NYU
NYU Divest for Climate Justice