Outrage as NUS sacks Shaima Dallali on first day of Islamophobia Awareness Month

Shaima Dallali and the NUS logo
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The National Union of Students (NUS) has sacked its president Shaima Dallali. The union claims it’s because of her alleged antisemitism. However, some people and organisations disagree – saying it shows open Islamophobia from the NUS. Moreover, the accusations of antisemitism against Dallali concerned a tweet she sent 10 years ago. And to top this all off, the NUS sacked her on the first day of Islamophobia Awareness Month.

NUS: sacking its own president

As the Guardian reported, members of the NUS elected Dallali in July. Almost immediately afterwards, in August, the union suspended her while it investigated claims of antisemitism. One of the allegations was about a tweet Dallali posted in 2012 which read:

Khaybar Khaybar O Jews … Muhammad’s army will return Gaza

Dallali was 17 when she posted the tweet. As the Canary reported in May, she has since apologised for it. Since then, people have hurled racist and Islamophobic abuse at her online due to the situation. Dallali said of this:

Unfortunately, as a black Muslim woman, it is something that I expected because I’ve seen it happen to other black Muslim women when they take up positions in the student union or the NUS, where they are attacked based on their political beliefs or their pro-Palestinian stance.

Yet it was the Khaybar tweet and other undisclosed accusations that led to the NUS sacking Dallali.

The NUS says…

The NUS said in a statement:

Read on...

Following the independent [King’s Counsel]-led investigation into allegations of antisemitism, specifically into the then president-elect under the NUS code of conduct, an independent panel has found that significant breaches of NUS policies have taken place. As per this finding, we have terminated the president’s contract. In strict accordance with rules around employees and confidentiality, we will not be sharing any further details on the investigation into the president,” the NUS said. “We can assure any interested parties that this process has been incredibly robust and that we can and must trust in the outcome.

We know that there will be strong feelings around this issue, so we urge people to respect this process and to refrain from taking part in or perpetuating any abuse, particularly online, towards anyone involved in this matter.

There are indeed strong feelings around the NUS’s sacking of Dallali.

“Deeply politicised”

The Federation of Student Islamic Societies (FOSIS) said in a statement that it has:

come to the conclusion that NUS is no longer an organisation that take Muslims or Islamophobia seriously and therefore is not a safe space for Muslims. Following numerous attempts to engage NUS and its leadership, no satisfactory outcome has been reached. The investigation into Shaima has been deeply politicised from the outset, and due process has not been followed, opening Shaima up to the court of public opinion and denying her the opportunity to fairly represent herself.

On this basis, the NUS sacking Dallali on the first day of Islamophobia Awareness Month does seem highly politicised.

“Islamophobia is rife”

Over on social media, people were defending Dallali. Academic Tarek Younis stated that the NUS’s sacking of Dallali was “outrageous”:

Dr Nilufar Ahmed called the NUS’s treatment of Dallali “horrific”:

To compound all this, Dallali revealed that the NUS had not told her it had sacked her. She only found out about the dismissal via social media:


Meanwhile, the FOSIS has said that it’s:

calling on all Islamic societies, friends and those who oppose Islamophobia to organise and lead disaffiliation campaigns against the NUS on their campuses.

Without full disclosure from the NUS, it is impossible to draw any other conclusion other than that its sacking of Dallali was politicised and laced with Islamophobia. She, and other Muslim students, deserve better.

Featured image via Shaima Dallali – Twitter and the NUS – screengrab 

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  • Show Comments
    1. Without further information from the NUS as to the reasons for their action, it is not sensible to draw the conclusion that Islamophobia motivated it. This article is clickbait and fearmongering along the lines of the Daily Mail.

        1. As the NUS statement says: “… significant breaches of NUS policies have taken place… we will not be sharing any further details on the investigation” which implies that there Ms Dallali possibly did more than just that tweet.

          1. If they are not sharing details on the investigation it is because it does not bear scrutiny. They want to silence criticism of anti Palestinian racism. “did more than just tweet”, she may have gone on a demonstration for Palestinian rights, as have many Jews!

    2. Islamophobia is rife among the ruling elites of this country. The Tories, Starmer’s benighted Labour Party and their minions are united in seeking to protect Israeli interests and it has been shown repeatedly that the most effective way of doing this is by playing the anti-Semitism card. If a future PM can be prevented from succeeding, why not a student leader?

    3. The real ‘elephant in the room’ is Religion. All religions are false. There is no evidence for the existence of any supreme intelligent entity that created the universe, planet earth or life as we see around us every day. Originally early tribal people invented concepts that answered questions they had about the stars, the weather, procreation, etc. It us understandable as we are curious about our surroundings. As we have evolved we have learned more about our existence and our environment. We have learned to observe and test theories and to only accept those where proof now exists. We call it science.

      The fact that some people continue to exhibit tribal adherence to ancient unproven myths, in the absence of proof, that amounts to consciously lying. In other words, fraud.

      So, all religions are frauds today. They should be recognized as such and eliminated. God(s) did not create man. Man created God(s). We can now recognize that man is the creator of our local, at least planetary, environment and act to correct our errors in future.

      Religion is propagating of ignorance among us. Surely we have advanced enough to recognize this and work to overcome our ignorance in ourselves and others. The first step must be the true separation of church and state. Politicians, our representatives in government cannot be permitted to exercise religious beliefs, myths, on us all.

      Catholicism, Islam, Judaism, Mormonism, etc., etc., are all frauds. Eliminate them now before they cause more wars and destruction among us.

    4. This is how Netanyahu slithers back to power. He and Ben Gvir know they need only cry “anti-Semitism!” and the entire supposedly democratic world Establishment will nod in agreement. Without the evidence, how can we know why Dallali was sacked, but you can be sure complaints came from the usual sources. No doubt the charitable CST, doing Mossad’s dirty work under the protection of the charity commissioners,had something to say. Islamophobia is breeding like rats and no one raises an eyebrow; suggest Palestinians may be human and you’ll be kicked out of the Labour Party and Ben Gvir will pull his revolver on you. The vile Zionists whose entire orientation is racist- just look at Netnayahu’s new book, he makes clear the 2-States idea is dead and he argues for Jewish supremacy- are intent on reducing the Palestinians to the level of animals, or worse. Israel is in the hands of neo-fascists and the NUS sacks someone who made a slightly mis-judged comment as a teenager. The Israeli fascists are pandered to by the US and the EU. We will reap the whirlwind.

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