Bristol Islamic Society declares ‘complete lack of faith’ in SU


By Maddy Russell, News Editor

The SU says it will address the claims ‘as a matter of urgency’

The Islamic Society declared a 'complete lack of confidence' in the SU 'or its officers to ensure the safety of Muslim students' in a recent post made on Facebook, on Saturday the 22nd of February.

In the post the Islamic Society expressed its ‘disappointment’ with what  it believes is the SU’s ‘failure to support Muslim students’.

In the post the Islamic Society accused the SU and its elected officers of providing ‘very little support’ for the society during Islamophobia Awareness Month. It also criticised SU officers for ‘making no mention of Islamophobia’ in a recent open letter sent to the University, in which the SU called for the University to increase its actions in dealing with discrimination faced by BME students.

The society also claimed that the SU had 'failed' to prevent what it argued were 'offensive' speakers from attending events on campus.

In response to the post, a spokesperson for Bristol SU told Epigram: ‘We are deeply concerned by the points raised by our Islamic Society in their recent statement.

‘In each of the cases raised, we have worked to engage student leaders, in collaboration with the Bristol SU BME Network, and are working to ensure that their interests are effectively represented. In general through regular interactions and meetings, we are working with all parties to give them the best opportunity we can to shape our actions on racism and Islamophobia at the University.

‘However, we acknowledge that this has not been perfect, and we take responsibility for those actions that have left our students feeling this way.

‘All forms of racial discrimination including Islamophobia, on campus or anywhere else, are unacceptable. Over the last few years Bristol SU has worked passionately to improve support for marginalised students at Bristol.

‘We have published leading research on the BME Attainment gap in Higher Education, and we compiled the first ever Bristol BME Powerlist to celebrate the city's BME community, working with our BME student representatives. We are now engaged in a full review of the effectiveness of our democratic structures for students from minority or liberation groups, consulting with their student representatives.

'Our officer team have secured a commitment from the University to create a joint action plan to tackle racism. As we seek to confirm the details of this action plan, we will be liaising with all representatives of students affected by racism at Bristol. We will be reaching out to the Islamic Society to further understand and address their specific concerns as a matter of urgency’

Featured Image: Epigram/Tom Taylor

What do you think of the Islamic Society's criticisms of the SU? Let us know.