Jewish group demands CUNY Chancellor Felix Matos Rodriguez resign over law school hate speech
Jewish rights group StopAntisemitism is calling for the resignation of CUNY Chancellor Felix Matos Rodriguez, following a “hate speech” at the university’s law school during the commencement event. The group cited the inflammatory speech by law student Fatima Mousa Mohammed as “the last straw” for the CUNY boss. In her speech, Mohammed allegedly smeared Jews, Israel, the NYPD, and the military. Last year, CUNY Law’s faculty council and student government passed a resolution supporting the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement against Israel, while another student, Palestinian activist Nerdeen Kiswani, blasted the Jewish state during her commencement address.
Meanwhile, New Jersey Congressman Josh Gottheimer is calling for a federal civil rights investigation of CUNY and its law school. He urged the US Education Department to investigate whether recent incidents and CUNY’s administration’s response, or lack thereof, violated Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. During her commencement address, Mousa Mohammed alleged that “Israel continues to indiscriminately rain bullets and bombs on worshipers, murdering the old, the young, attacking even funerals and graveyards.” The future lawyer slammed CUNY for continuing “to train and cooperate with the fascist NYPD, the military.” She also blasted the school for continuing “to train [Israeli] soldiers to carry out that violence globally.”
Mousa Mohammed’s speech has been widely condemned as hateful, with the board of trustees and Matos Rodriguez belatedly issuing a statement accusing her of spewing “hate speech.” Despite this, CUNY law administrators, including Dean Sudha Setty, were seen applauding her speech, and none condemned it. Mousa Mohammed recently declined to comment on her speech. Forty CUNY Law School professors co-signed a letter defending her address and said CUNY brass should apologize for calling it hate speech.
What is CUNY?
CUNY, or the City University of New York, is a public university system located in New York City. It is the largest urban university system in the United States, with over 500,000 students enrolled across 25 campuses.
What is StopAntisemitism?
StopAntisemitism is a Jewish rights group that monitors and combats Jew hatred on college campuses and beyond. It aims to raise awareness of antisemitism, highlight its various forms, and hold those responsible accountable for their actions.
What is the BDS movement?
The BDS movement, or the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions movement, is a global campaign aimed at pressuring Israel to comply with international law and end its occupation of Palestinian territories. The movement advocates boycotts, divestment, and sanctions against Israel until it meets these demands.
What is Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964?
Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, or national origin in programs and activities that receive federal financial assistance. It has been used to address discrimination on college campuses, including incidents of antisemitism or racism.
Jewish organization calls for the resignation of CUNY Chancellor Felix Matos Rodriguez due to hate speech at law school.
A group monitoring anti-Semitism on college campuses, StopAntisemitism, is calling for the resignation of CUNY Chancellor Felix Matos Rodriguez following a “hate speech” incident at the public university’s law school. The group cited an inflammatory commencement speech made by student Fatima Mousa Mohammed as the last straw for the chancellor, who failed to properly fight anti-Semitism or protect Jewish students. Last year, CUNY Law’s faculty council and student government passed resolutions supporting the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement against Israel, while Palestinian activist Nerdeen Kiswani blasted the Jewish state during her 2022 commencement speech. Meanwhile, New Jersey Congressman Josh Gottheimer is asking for a federal civil rights probe of anti-Semitism at CUNY and its law school.