Harvard Faces Civil Rights Complaint from Muslim, Palestinian Students

01/30/24 Reposted from iqna.ir

The complaint, submitted to the Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights on Monday, was backed by the Muslim Legal Fund of America (MLFA), a legal group that defends the rights of Muslims and Muslim organizations, CNN reported on Monday.

The MLFA said the students experienced “rampant harassment and racist attacks” such as doxxing, stalking and assault for being Palestinian, Muslim or supporters of Palestinian rights.

“They are being called terrorists,” said Christina Jump, the lead attorney for the students and the head of the MLFA’s Civil Litigation Department. “Some nearly withdrew and asked to miss class for an extended amount of time.”

The complaint was filed on behalf of more than a dozen students who said they faced harassment, intimidation and threats based on their identity and beliefs, according to the MLFA, which did not release the complaint to the media for privacy reasons.

The students said they sought help from Harvard but were ignored or threatened by some faculty and staff members who tried to limit their academic opportunities.

Harvard did not comment on the complaint but referred to its efforts to support students.

Earlier this month, Harvard Interim President Alan Garber announced a presidential task force to combat Islamophobia and anti-Arab bias on campus. The task force, similar to one created to address antisemitism, will examine the history and causes of bias and recommend solutions.

“Reports of antisemitic and Islamophobic acts on our campus have grown, and the sense of belonging among these groups has been undermined,” Garber said. “We need to understand why and how that is happening—and what more we might do to prevent it.”

The Education Department did not confirm the complaint. Last fall, it launched a federal investigation into Harvard and other universities over alleged incidents of antisemitism and Islamophobia.

In October, a mobile billboard truck displayed the names and faces of Harvard students who allegedly signed an anti-Israel statement, sparking outrage and fear among some students.