Student gov declines to remove prez over anti-Semitic tweets
The University of St. Thomas’s student body president survived a vote of no confidence Sunday after several anti-Semitic comments were unearthed on his Twitter feed.
As Campus Reform previously reported, Canary Mission, a self-described database for exposing “those who promote lies and attacks on Israel and the Jewish people,” had uncovered a trove of anti-Semitic Tweets link to Undergraduate Student Government (USG) President Mayzer Muhammad’s Twitter account, one of which described the Israeli people as “scum of the earth.”
“If you support Israel in anyway [sic], shape, or form, please unfollow me right now cause [sic] those people are scum of the earth,” Muhammad wrote in a July 2014 Tweet, after his freshman year at St. Thomas, later writing that “the yahood [Jewish people] will get what [sic] coming for them Insha’Allah.”
Canary Mission uncovered at least 14 other posts of this kind dating from 2014 to as recently as 2016, though Muhammad has since deleted his Twitter account, citing an “influx of nasty and negative comments” against him as his reason for doing so.
In response to the controversy, an anonymous online petition was created calling for Muhammad’s ouster, even going so far as to suggest “expulsion from the University of St. Thomas for his anti-Semitic behavior.”
Meanwhile, St. Thomas President Julie Sullivan released a statement on the matter in which she “strongly denounce[d]” Muhammad’s remarks, though she did not elaborate on any potential consequences he may face besides noting that USG has “a clearly defined process when the actions of a leader are called into question.”
It now appears that those consequences will be minimal, however, as a vote to remove Muhammad from his position failed to gain the required two-thirds majority at a special USG session called Sunday evening, Tommie Media reports.
The final tally showed 14 votes in favor of removal, 22 against, and one abstention.
“We understand that this has been a deeply divisive issue, with strong feelings on both sides,” a statement from USG after the vote explained. “As we come together as a Student Government, we will work tirelessly to ensure everyone on our campus feels safe, welcome, and represented.”
The statement did note, however, that a “motion for censure” passed overwhelmingly in a vote of 31-5, condemning “not only the remarks posted to social media, but also the inadequate apology put forth just before Spring Break.”
“During multiple meetings, Mr. Muhammad has expressed remorse and seeks forgiveness from all those affected, particularly the Jewish community, in order to create a more inclusive campus for all students,” the statement concluded. “As your elected leaders, we are deeply sorry for the pain this situation has caused.”
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