The National Union of Students has rejected a call to condemn militant group Isis on the grounds that the motion was “islamophobic”, in a move which has promoted campaigners to accuse the body of being in the “stranglehold” of divisive “identity politics”.
The political split in the student body over the conflict in the Middle East erupted after a motion was put forward last month to the NUS National Executive Council, asking students to express “solidarity” with the Kurds in Iraq and Syria who are engaged in a bloody struggle against ISIS militants.
The motion, proposed by Daniel Cooper and Clifford Fleming with international students officer Shreya Paudel, called on British students “to condemn the IS and support Kurdish forces fighting against it, while expressing no confidence or trust in the US military intervention.”
However the call, which also called for unity among Muslims and has already been passed by the Scottish NUS, was rejected by a members led by black students’ officer Malia Bouattia, according the student website The Tab.
Ms Bouattia is reported to have spoken against the motion. She is reported to have said: “We recognise that condemnation of Isis appears to have become a justification for war and blatant islamophobia. This rhetoric exacerbates the issue at hand and in essence is a further attack on those we aim to defend.”