May 14, 2024

In new report “Hostile,” CAIR documents how universities have smeared and silenced students speaking in support of Palestinian human rights.

The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), the nation’s largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization, today delivered its new report documenting free speech violations and rising Islamophobia and anti-Palestinian racism at colleges and universities to over 400 school leaders across the country. CAIR is calling on universities to start engaging in good faith negotiations with students protesting the Gaza genocide and stop enabling bigotry against Palestinian, Muslim and Arab students, faculty and staff.

SEE: ‘Hostile’: How Universities Target Anti-Genocide Protesters While Enabling Anti-Palestinian Racism and Islamophobia



Later today, the report author will also discuss the release of the new report during a live discussion at 3 P.M. ET. 


Titled “‘Hostile’: How Universities Target Anti-Genocide Protesters While Enabling Anti-Palestinian Racism and Islamophobia,” the report documents key trends on university campuses starting in October 2023 and leading up to the current crisis. It notes two key trends: (1) how many universities have enabled external actors, as well as their own students and faculty, to attack Palestinian, Arab, and Muslim students with little, if any, repercussions and (2) how many university administrators have themselves used disciplinary action and police violence to silence anti-genocide protesters on their campus. 

The report concludes with several recommendations to universities, including an urgent call for administrators to stop targeting anti-genocide protesters with police violence and arbitrary disciplinary action and to engage in good faith negotiations with student protesters.  

In a statement, CAIR Research and Advocacy Director Corey Saylor said: 

“Rather than engage in uncomfortable conversation, a fundamental value in higher education and an expectation that many universities actually have of their own students, many university administrators have chosen police batons and tear gas.

“This report is another component of CAIR’s support for anti-genocide protesters. If university administrators actually want the student protests to end, they need to stop meeting peaceful students with violence and start negotiating with students over their very clear, legitimate, and popular demands, including divestment from companies profiting from genocide.” 

“In a complete violation of the university’s traditional role as a space of academic freedom, many universities have essentially thrown their own students, faculty, and staff under the bus for expressing political opinions that they do not agree with or that threaten their investment portfolio,” said CAIR Research and Advocacy Coordinator Farah Afify. “In particular, Palestinian, Arab, and Muslim affiliates who are being harassed and assaulted by students, staff, and even faculty at their own institution are being met with closed doors and, in some cases, threats from the very people who are supposed to protect them.”

In its recent 2024 Civil Rights Report, CAIR revealed that it received 8,061 complaints across the country, which is the highest number of complaints ever reported to the organization in its 30-year history.  

SEE: 2024 Civil Rights Report: Fatal: The Resurgence of Anti-Muslim Hate

In this new report, CAIR notes that 921 of those complaints were education-related, a 219% increase over the previous year.