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Sharifah Abdallah is a student at Loyola University where she majors in Biology. During her time at University, she has also served as a member of Loyola University’s Student Government Association.
Abdallah was heavily involved in the 2015 Loyola Divest campaign as part of Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions (BDS)movement.
The Divestment Resolution, which called for the university to boycott Israeli corporations, passed on 24 March 2015 after an initial tie vote.
In her capacity as president of the Muslim Students Association (MSA) at Loyola and on the organization's behalf, Abdallah wrote a letter that endorsed the Loyola Divest campaign and the resolution. Within the letter, she stressed an Islamic religious obligation to stand up for social justice which she then linked to supporting the resolution. "Our Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) teaches us to stand up for social justice," she wrote. "Endorsing this call for the alleviation of the oppression of Palestinians allows us to act with accordance to our core principles." She concluded the letter with the assertion that supporting BDS therefore "is our responsibility as Muslims."
Despite Abdallah's assertion, the Loyola University President Michael J. Garanzini wrote an open letter to the student body in which he admonished the divestment campaign. He expressed objection to the "vehemence with which the topic is being discussed and debated" and stated that "Resolutions are not only ineffective (and useless in a case like this), but continue to pit student against student." At the end of the letter, he wrote that the university would not be interested in taking up divestment because its interest is in "having students engage in thoughtful and respectful open discussion."
A year earlier, Abdallah read a similar divestment resolution to the senate that was vetoed by the student body president. Prior to the vote, a statement was issued by the university affirming that it would not adopt the student’s divestment proposal if it passed.
The BDS movement was founded in 2005 by Omar Barghouti. The movement is self-described as "a campaign of boycotts, divestment and sanctions against Israel until it complies with international law and Palestinian rights.”
Campaigns include compelling institutions and individuals todivest from Israeli-affiliated companies, academic boycotts as well as physical rallies and protests.
The groups most notable achievement has been the infiltration of university campuses through lobbying for "BDS resolutions.In these cases, backed by university anti-Israel affiliates, the university student government has been brought to vote on some sort of boycott of and divestment from Israel and Israeli-affiliated organizations. These resolutions, although non-binding, have been passed by student governments on numerous North American campuses.
BDS activity is often aggressive and disruptive. It is documented that universities that pass BDS resolutions see a marked increase in anti-Semitism on campus. In 2013, the student government of the University of California Santa Barbara (UCSB) debated a BDS resolution. Reports emerged of threats of violence, the spitting on a female student senator, and theft of the personal property of anti-BDS activists. As a result, the student government chose to vote via a "secret ballot" in order to ensure their own safety.
Barghouti and the BDS movement are proponents of the radical"one-state solution" that has been denounced as a scheme to dissolve Israel as the Jewish State. Barghouti has been quoted as saying, "Good riddance! The two-state solution for the Palestinian-Israeli conflict is finally dead”, and that in a one-state “by definition, Jews will be a minority.”
The organization is affiliated with numerous anti-Israel groups worldwide, including ones that have been labeled terrorist organizations. The Jerusalem Post claims the BDS movement receives directives from Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood and the movement is considered extreme even by Palestinian Authority president Mahmoud Abbas who stated his opposition to a BDS boycott of Israel in 2013.
Abdallah is the 2015 president of the Muslim Students Association (MSA) at Loyola.
The MSA was established by a group of members of the Muslim Brotherhood in January 1963 at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign with the goal of "spreading Islam as students in North America." Today, the organization maintains its intimate affiliation with the brotherhood and a 2004 FBI investigationuncovered an internal Muslim Brotherhood document in which a brotherhood leader identified the MSA as "one of our organizations."
With nearly 600 chapters located in the United States and Canada, the MSA is the most visible and influential Islamic student organization in North America. Through conferences and events, publications, websites and other activities, MSA disseminates and promotes radical Islamic ideologies.
The organization that has been described as a "virtual terror factory" includes a number of previous chapter presidents with explicit links to terrorist groups.
Anwar al-Awlaki was president of the MSA at Colorado State University during the mid-1990s. An al-Qaeda cleric linked to numerous terror plots including 9/11 and the Fort Hood shootings, he was the first United States citizen to be targeted and killed in a United States drone strike. After his death he was linked to the terrorists responsible for the Charlie Hebdomassacre, to whom he had repeatedly preached, calling for the killing of newspapers editor, Stéphane Charbonnier. Omar Shafik Hammami was president of MSA's chapter at the University of South Alabama during the early 2000's. In 2006, he abandoned his young wife and child and left for Somalia where he became a militant leader in the terrorist organization al-Shabaab. Ramy Zamzam was a past president of the MSA's Washington, D.C. council, before his conviction in in 2010 for attempting to lead a group dubbed the "D.C. 5" to join the Taliban in Pakistan.
Local MSA chapters consistently invite radical Islamist speakers to their events. At a 2003 MSA event sponsored by Al-Talib, the MSA-founded Muslim student newspaper, guest speaker Imam Abdul-Alim Musa said, "When you fight [the U.S.] you are fighting someone that is superior in criminality and Nazism … the American criminalizer is the most skillful oppressor the world has ever known …"
Abdallah was the treasurer of Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) Loyola in 2014.
Abdallah promoted a campus event that showed support for convicted terrorist-murderer Rasmea Odeh, to whom she referred to as "a beloved community member" in a Facebook post. The event was co-sponsored by SJP Loyola. Odeh was initially convicted by Israel in 1970 and sentenced to life imprisonment for a 1969 supermarket bombing, which killed two Hebrew University students, as well as for an attempted bombing of the British consulate. She was released from an Israeli prison in a massive prisoner swap for an Israeli soldier after only 10 years. In the US, Odeh was convicted and sentenced to eighteen months in prison and a thousand dollar fine for illegally procuring naturalization by concealing her previous conviction.
In September 2014, SJP Loyola was cited for harassment by Jewish groups at the university after they surrounded and disrupted a Taglit-Birthright table that was processing applications for a subsidized trip to Israel. In addition to blocking the table they hurled aggressive questions at attendees like "How does it feel to be an occupier?" and "How does it feel to be guilty of ethnic cleansing?"
Following a complaint lodged against SJP Loyola, the entirechapter was suspended pending a university investigation. The group was “found responsible” for not adhering to the university's free expression and demonstration policy and the consequences included probation for the rest of the academic year and inter-group dialogue training. The chapter then received support from the Council of American Islamic Relations (CAIR) in managing its appeal. The suspension was lifted, but members of SJP were still charged with attending the dialogue training.
The SJP was co-founded by Hatem Bazian and Snehal Shingavi in 2001 at UC Berkeley. Their intention was to advance the radical anti-Israel mission of the Muslim Students Association (MSA), but now masked as a secular organization.
The SJP runs targeted and well-orchestrated campaigns against Israel including Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions (BDS)resolutions, Israel-Apartheid initiatives, drives comparing Israel to Nazi Germany, mock check-points, "die-ins" as well as rallies and protests.
SJP chapters regularly host speakers who engage in language considered anti-Semitic by the U.S. State Department. Chapter events routinely include individuals and organizations who are linked to terrorist activity and call for violence against Jews.
SJP members frequently intimidate and harass pro-Israel supporters. Members have been responsible for physically assaulting Jewish students, vandalizing communal property and violently disrupting pro Israel speakers and events. Protests organized by SJP chapters regularly include hate-speech and chants such as "From the River to the Sea Palestine will be Free"- calling for the destruction of the Jewish State.
The SJP demonizes and defames critics, branding attacks against them as “Islamophobic” - a term popularized by co-founder Hatem Bazian.
The SJP, along with the MSA, is rapidly creating a hostile andunsafe environment on US campuses for all who do not share their radical anti-Israel views. For this reason, they have
been labeled by some as “Hamas on Campus.”
been labeled by some as “Hamas on Campus.”
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