Islamophobia at Harvard University: MLFA’s Representation

MLFA offers pro bono representation to Harvard students and others facing discrimination on college campuses nationwide.

In a groundbreaking move, the legal division of the Muslim Legal Fund of America takes up the mantle of justice with a complaint to the Department of Education on behalf of over a dozen Harvard students. This critical undertaking addresses the alarming surge of Islamophobic incidents on the esteemed and revered Harvard campus, marking a significant stride in our ongoing battle to protect the civil liberties of all Americans.

Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, or national origin in programs and activities receiving federal financial assistance. 

Title VI complaints on the Harvard campus target race, color, or national origin discrimination, encompassing shared heritage and protection for those who are Muslim, perceived as Muslim, or from Muslim-majority countries. This legal action urges the Department of Education to ensure schools create inclusive environments free from discrimination for all students, regardless of their backgrounds. 

MLFA’s complaint on behalf of these brave students, filed on January 29, 2024, showcases the proactive stance of their generation to challenge injustices, especially related to Palestine and advocacy work on its behalf. We affirm our commitment to safeguard the rights of Muslim, and all, students and to combat religious discrimination.  

Harassed for wearing keffiyehs, fearing safety threats in classes, enduring doxxing, and facing threats to their standing, these students, including some targeted by professors and administrators, lack protection despite Harvard’s promise of an “anti-doxxing” task force. The task force disbanded without action, and we look to the Department of Education for the investigation and necessary steps Harvard failed to take.

Your zakat enables us to offer pro bono representation to Harvard students and many others facing discrimination on college campuses nationwide. 

As you fulfill your duty to provide humanitarian aid, also remember your obligation to justice. The urgent need to protect those advocating for a free Palestine requires our immediate attention.

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