LETTER OF SOLIDARITY WITH MASUMA KHAN
DALHOUSIE ASSOCIATION OF GRADUATE STUDENTS
Dear members of the Dalhousie University community,
During the summer of 2017, Masuma Khan, Vice-President (Academic and External) of the Dalhousie Students’ Union, brought forward a motion to the DSU Council to boycott any event associated with the anniversary of Canada. The Dalhousie Association of Graduate Students Executive team, like many other unions on university and college campuses across Turtle Island, participated in the Resist150 Campaign. Khan’s motion and solidarity with Indigenous students was met with a formal complaint, made by a student, against Khan and resulted in a disciplinary action decision made by Dalhousie University. Khan has been receiving violent threats and has been a target for violent messages since the complaint against her was made public.
The Dalhousie Association of Graduate Students Executive team stands in solidarity with Masuma Khan’s right to freedom of speech. We also challenge Dalhousie University’s decision of disciplinary action against Khan.
We support Khan’s fight for equity, and validate her anger for being personally targeted and violently attacked. No student or community member should ever experience what Khan is for challenging colonialism and racism head on. The disciplinary decision made against Khan is unacceptable coming from a U15 university that publicly prides itself on valuing freedom of speech and critical thought.
As we progress through the year, it is important that we reaffirm our collective and unwavering commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion. These are among the Dalhousie Association of Graduate Students core values. They are cornerstones of outstanding scholarship, teaching, and learning which can thrive only by embracing the broadest range of people, and encouraging the free expression of diverse perspectives in an atmosphere of mutual respect. Bigotry, hate, intolerance, and violence have no place in our campuses.
The Dalhousie Association of Graduate Students seeks to promote and assist in an academic and social environment free from prejudice, rape culture, discrimination, exploitation, or abuse on the basis of, but not limited to, sex, gender identity, race, ethnicity, language, religion, sexual orientation, age, nationality, socio-economic status, political affiliation or belief, disability, or marital status. We are all treaty people and we should be fighting for a more equitable and anti-oppressive society that doesn’t silence Muslim women of colour for standing up against colonialism and racism.
The Dalhousie Association of Graduate Students Executive Team
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