American Fordham University will not allow students to form Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) group, claiming it promotes one countryâ€™s interests.
In a statement issued on Tuesday, Fordham, a Jesuit school in New York City, said that SJP would act more like a political lobby than a traditional campus club.
â€śFordham has no registered student clubs the sole focus of which is the political agenda of one nation, against another nation,â€ť the statement read, according to Days of Palestine.
â€śThe narrowness of Students for Justice in Palestineâ€™s political focus makes it more akin to a lobbying group than a student club. Regardless of the clubâ€™s status, students, faculty, and staff are of course free to voice their opinions on Palestine, or any other issue.â€ť
Justifying its anti-Palestinian act, Fordham said there is also no pro-Israel student group in campus. There is aÂ Jewish studentsâ€™ club, but its description does not mention Israel. However, the main reason for this body is to lobby for the Israeli occupation state.
Palestine Legal, a pro-Palestinian legal advocacy group, sent aÂ letterÂ protesting the decision to Fordham President Rev. Joseph M. McShane.
The letter says that denial of an SJP chapter could constitute a violation of Title VI of the Civil Rights Act, which prohibits discrimination based on race, colour or national origin.
Fordhamâ€™s decision â€śnot only violates the free speech, associational and academic freedom principles to which Fordham claims to adhere, but also raises civil rights concerns,â€ť Palestine Legalâ€™s letter read. â€śFordham has betrayed principles of free speech to which it promises to adhere.â€ť
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