Emory University investigated over alleged anti-Muslim discrimination

Emory University investigated over alleged anti-Muslim discrimination

Emory University investigated over alleged anti-Muslim discrimination

College under federal investigation after students with Palestinian and Muslim ancestry allege ‘hostile environment’, Guardian learns


The US government has opened an investigation into Emory University’s alleged discrimination against students with Palestinian, Muslim or Arab ancestry since 7 October, the Guardian has exclusively learned.

The US education department notified the Council on American Islamic Relations, Georgia, or Cair-GA, and Palestine Legal, a national organization, on Tuesday that it would be investigating claims made in an 18-page complaint filed on 5 April on behalf of students at the university in Atlanta, Georgia, under title VI of the Civil Rights Act.

The complaint is one of at least six title VI claims made in recent weeks regarding discriminatory treatment of Palestinian, Muslim and Arab students on US campuses; others include Columbia, Rutgers, University of Massachusetts-Amherst and the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill.

Emory University investigated over alleged anti-Muslim discrimination
Students gather in a dining hall at Emory as they protest in support of Palestinians. Photograph: Elijah Nouvelage

The students named in Emory’s complaint belong to the school’s chapter of Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP), a group that has seen its share of controversy on campuses in recent months. Brandeis and Columbia suspended SJP chapters in December, after the national group called events of 7 October “a historic win for the Palestinian resistance”. PEN America, a freedom of expression group, called such language “deeply objectionable, and even incendiary … [but] typically protected by the first amendment and by many university policies”.

Claims of discrimination have also been made on behalf of students at Columbia and Rutgers; these complaints were filed in the last 10 days. Since 1 October, the education department’s office of civil rights has received 343 complaints containing what the agency calls “shared ancestry” allegations, compared with 42 in fiscal year 2022 and 62 in fiscal year 2023, a department spokesperson wrote in an email. The category includes antisemitic and Islamophobic claims.

The federal investigation of Emory is noteworthy in the context of the Atlanta university’s decision last week to call two police departments on to campus within three hours of protesters setting up a camp in favor of divestment from Israel and against a local police training facility colloquially known as “Cop City”. At the time, the response appeared to be the quickest use of police against the recent campus protests nationwide, and probably the first to involve police using Tasers.

Emory University investigated over alleged anti-Muslim discrimination
A pro-Palestinian protest at Emory in Atlanta.

Emory spokesperson Laura Diamond shared by email the university’s statement about the title VI complaint, which reads in part: “Emory does not tolerate behavior or actions that threaten, harm or target individuals because of their identities or backgrounds.”

Several Emory students who experienced incidents described in the complaint spoke to the Guardian using their first names. They and other students filed dozens of reports directly to the university over the last seven months regarding incidents on campus, only to be notified that their reports “had been received”.

Other incidents described in the complaint include: “an Emory parent verbally accosted a visibly Black Muslim student, accusing them of supporting Hamas” at an 11 November “bake sale … to fundraise for the Palestinian Children’s Relief Fund, a humanitarian organization that provides medical assistance”.

Similar patterns are playing out on other campuses, according to organizations behind other complaints.


Continue reading at: The Guardian

Leave your thought here

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

The reCAPTCHA verification period has expired. Please reload the page.