A silenced Muslim valedictorian speaks, sort of … – Asia Times

A silenced Muslim valedictorian speaks, sort of ... - Asia Times

Asna Tabassum?

She was scheduled to deliver the traditional speech as the top student at the private University of Southern California ( USC ) last week as the chosen valedictorian. However, the USC leadership abruptly canceled her commencement speech due to safety concerns and “intensity of feelings” brought on by” social advertising and the ongoing fight in the Middle East.”

No specific danger did the school leaders ever mention or continue to do so. They had not even publish Asna Tabassum’s conversation, just because it had not yet been written.

District, a Southern Eastern- British Muslim from San Bernardino major in biomedical engineering, said at the moment that” USC has betrayed me”.

Here is the discourse, shared with student magazines, that she had hoped to give:

When Tabassum’s appearance was acknowledged, her classmates applauded her during the school of engineering’s graduation ceremony.

” As the crowd roared, she turned and laughed, raising a finger to her heart — a moment of joy at the school, which has been racked by stress and disappointment over shattered graduation programs”, reports the&nbsp, Los Angeles Times.

The service was one of several smaller graduating ceremonies on the USC school near downtown Los Angeles, after USC’s president, amid ongoing campus protests, had canceled the principal commencement ceremony, which typically draws around 65, 000 people.

Rather, today, the campus was generally in lock- down mode, with tight security controls and available only to students and families and guests. Earlier this year, the faculty congress voted to reprimand USC’s rulers for their “mishandling of events around initiation”. The vote, 21 to 7 with six vetoes and it carries no legal implications — just the school’s directors can fire the administration — but it’s obviously a sign of the stress and even rage among the school’s 4, 500 faculty.

Meanwhile, the other flagship Los Angeles university, UCLA, the public University of California at Los Angeles, has not escaped the protests and turmoil following pro- Palestinian demonstrations. And, as at USC, the university leadership, as well as campus police, are facing serious criticism.

At a pro-Israeli mob attack on a pro-Palestine encampment on the campus in the western part of the city on April 30, hundreds have been detained despite not being charged, and many have been hurt. The unprepared police managed to rein in the situation after several hours of the violent attack. As of Monday, none of the attackers, most of them seemingly non- students and mostly masked, has been arrested or charged, although police are now working on identifying the attackers.

” Frankly”, said Los Angeles mayor Karen Bass, “it reminded me of January 6” at the Capitol in Washington, DC, in 2020.

In these protest-filled weeks, the academic senate of UCLA is preparing to take two proposals that criticize the university’s leadership. A second vote of no confidence in Chancellor Gene Block would condemn him, the other of which would be harsh. According to both proposals, Block “failed to ensure the safety of our students and greviously handled the events last week.” The senate’s action follows a series of pronouncements from over a dozen of UCLA’s academic departments criticizing the university’s leadership.

A sizable number of universities have experienced student protests of a magnitude not seen since the 1960s and Vietnam War, including USC and UCLA. Just as the school year is wrapping up in the West Bank and the Gaza war, American campuses are being destroyed along with the Palestinian population there and in the West Bank.

It’s difficult to predict the larger political repercussions of this new student protest movement. If the student protests continue during the summer break and whether the Gaza war comes to an end, that may be the case.

Less than six months have passed before the November elections. Biden wants, and needs, the young vote, many of whom are out there on the campuses to support the Palestinian cause. He does n’t want, or need, a split in the Democratic Party. He is a strong supporter of Israel, but his recent decision to stop the delivery of large bombs to Israel seems to have had an impact on him. He requires both the votes cast by Jews and Palestinians. That’s a balancing act worth watching.

Klas Bergman is a seasoned international author and journalist. This article, which examines American politics from the perspective of a Californian immigrant, was first published by him in his Substack, Notes on America. Asia Times is republishing it with permission.