VICTORY! Thanks to the support of so many, we sent a loud message to Harvard Administration that #WeStandWithAbdullah and as a result they have dropped the case against him! This is a reminder that the people united will never be defeated and an affirmation of our communities’ unity in the struggle Palestinian liberation.
Abdullah Akl, a beloved organizer with Within Our Lifetime and the Muslim American Society, is under attack by zionist provocateurs who are pressuring Harvard University, where he is a student, to discipline him for his work mobilizing the Muslim community in New York and beyond against the ongoing genocide in Palestine. He has been a leader to many in our city for years, exemplifying what it means to live a life in service of one’s community. We call on all supporters of Palestinian liberation and our allies to #StandWithAbdullah and join us in combating repression at Harvard University by signing onto this statement, sharing it, and completing the action items listed below.
The Washington Free Beacon, a right-wing publication which was at the center of the recent media frenzy against former Harvard President Claudine Gay, published a hit piece attacking Abdullah for his personal social media posts and his tireless work organizing for Palestine. Since then, reporters have sent letters to his family’s home, harassed his family members and workplace, and contacted Harvard administration in the hopes of provoking disciplinary measures against Abdullah, despite the fact that his organizing has nothing to do with the university. Abdullah’s case is now in the Harvard President’s “Advisory Group to Combat Antisemitism.”
For decades, students have been a primary target of doxxing and harassment campaigns by right-wing journalists and politicians who are desperate to silence the most powerful and effective voices in the Palestine movement. Similar campaigns have been waged against countless students in the past, including members of WOL, Nerdeen Kiswani and Fatima Mohammed. The attacks, slandering, and harassment of Abdullah, as a visible and courageous organizer, are only the most recent example of the attempt to stifle our efforts.
We refuse to stand by while our leaders are targeted, doxxed, and slandered for their efforts to stop the genocide of our people. Harvard University has failed to protect its students in recent months when doxxing trucks drove around campus displaying the names and faces of student organizers and supporters of Palestinian liberation. Harvard allowed Hedge fund CEO Bill Ackman — an alumnus of the university — to make public threats to the signatories of a statement by Harvard PSC, promising them “no employment in their future.” Succumbing to pressure from wealthy alumni and donors, Harvard has remained silent in the face of these attacks, letting their cowardice trump their obligation to protect students like Abdullah from harassment and threats.
Meanwhile, spurred to action by Harvard turning a blind eye to harassment of Arab and Muslim students, forces inside and outside of the university have launched efforts to protect students. The Editorial Board of the Crimson has called for the university to “use every tool at its disposal to protect its students against this barrage of malice from powerful figures.” Cambridge City Councillor Jivan Sobrinho-Wheeler urged the university to remove doxxing trucks to ensure student safety. Harvard Alumni delivered a letter, reminding the university of its responsibility to ensure the well-being of its students. And because Harvard has systematically prioritized its institutional interests over the safety of its students, its Palestinian affiliates are suing them and the Department of Education has opened an investigation in response.
Abdullah is not merely under attack for his advocacy; he is being targeted for expressing sentiments that resonate deeply within Arab households and Muslim communities worldwide. By attacking Abdullah for vocalizing these beliefs, detractors are not only attempting to suppress legitimate discourse, they are also actively perpetuating age-old forms of discrimination that seek to silence and marginalize Arab and Muslim voices. It is imperative to recognize that punishing a student for simply uplifting the values that he was raised with in his family and community, those of justice and dignity for the oppressed, is a racist affront against not only Abdullah, but all of our people. Abdullah’s case calls into question whether any Arab, Muslim, or Palestinian could express their cultural and political beliefs without fear of persecution at Harvard or at institutions like it.
To Abdullah and all those targeted by the supporters of this genocide: you are not alone. An attack on Abdullah is an attack on all of us. Abdullah’s statements are our statements. Even if the enemies of the Palestinian people try to expel, dox, arrest, or attack every one of us, we will stand with one another and keep each other safe. Our cause is just and we are unflinchingly in solidarity with our community, students, and movement leaders.
ACTION ITEM 1: SIGN ONTO THIS STATEMENT AND SHARE IT TO YOUR NETWORKS
ACTION ITEM 2: SEND AN EMAIL TO HARVARD UNIVERSITY DEMANDING THEY PROTECT, AND NOT DISCIPLINE, ABDULLAH AND ALL TARGETED STUDENTS
ACTION ITEM 3: EDUCATE YOURSELF ON THE HISTORY OF ZIONIST REPRESSION AT HARVARD AND BEYOND
ACTION ITEM 4: VISIT WITHIN OUR LIFETIME’S WEBSITE AND FOLLOW @WOLPALESTINE ON INSTAGRAM AND TWITTER TO LEARN MORE ABOUT THE SITUATION AS IT DEVELOPS AND THE RECENT HISTORY OF ZIONIST HARASSMENT