‘Representing’ Israel: IIUI dean, student adviser face admin’s wrath

Published: October 27, 2014
Action likely against students who put up Israel stall at Model UN event. PHOTO: AFP

Action likely against students who put up Israel stall at Model UN event. PHOTO: AFP

ISLAMABAD: A regular moot on international relations at the International Islamic University Islamabad (IIUI) took an odd turn after a group of students, as part of their Model United Nations (MUN) activities, arranged a stall for the country they were representing — Israel.

The three-day event was organised by the faculty of management sciences (female) and student advising office at the Quaid-e-Azam auditorium, Faisal Mosque Campus. The event was cancelled prior to its concluding day (Sunday) and instead the university management was busy taking action against the students and organisers.

Reacting to the incident, IIUI management has expelled the student affairs adviser, removed the dean of management sciences and is likely to take ‘strict disciplinary action’ against the students.

MUNs are held in almost all educational institutes an include social events, mock UN assembly and groups’ sessions and many other activities with students being assigned different countries which they represent on the ‘world stage’.

The first day of the event on Friday turned into a disaster when students started objecting over Israel’s stall at the ‘Global Village’ fair as a poster carrying a picture of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and the country’s flag was adorned at the stall. Students representing the country had also donned the Israeli dresses and were trying their best to represent the country’s culture — the purpose behind the event.

On Saturday, members of Jamaat-e-Islami’s student wing, among others, complained against the previous day’s stall and told the varsity management to take action.

Succumbing to pressure, the management not only had the stall removed but, to avoid any uncomfortable situation, cancelled the event altogether.

According to one of the organisers, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, the event was shut down when over 100 students reached the old campus holding batons and told others to cancel the event forthwith.

A press release issued from the varsity on Sunday stated that the stall for Israel was placed without the knowledge and permission of the university authorities.

Islami Jamiat-e-Talaba President Zubair Hafeez commented on his Facebook page that arranging an Israeli stall at the campus was unacceptable. “We demand the varsity administration to strike off the organisers and those responsible for the event,” he wrote on the social media website.

The university has constituted a committee led by vice-president Dr Tahir Mansoori to probe the issue.

Students and organizers, who number more than a dozen, were being probed till late evening.

A student involved in the affair told The Express Tribune that the university management was looking to pass the buck on to them which was unfair as every MUN conference in the country has representation for Israel.

Abdullah Umar Khalid, another student, commenting on a related Facebook page, termed the entire affair completely pointless. “A stall doesn’t necessarily mean that they support Israel, it is just a representation of a country,” he wrote.

But another student, Khawar Khan, replied that a stall of Israel inside a university meant that one accepts it as a state.

The varsity’s president, Dr Ahmad Yousif A Al-Draiweesh, who hails from Saudi Arabia, will take action after the probe body submits its report to them.

The varsity has always been at the centre of such issues — with some ‘quarters’ objecting to musical nights or fairs, even those held separately for boys and girls.

Published in The Express Tribune, October 27th, 2014.


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Reader Comments (7)

  • Uzair
    Oct 27, 2014 - 2:18PM

    I was about to take my son out of the college for this but i guess if the authorities didn’t know they cant be blamed.

    IIUI safe for now


  • Khan Bakhsh
    Oct 27, 2014 - 3:38PM

    It is strange that no action is taken against massive corruption at IIU but action is been taken for this incident. For Jamiat israel issue is more important than corruption. The reason is that administration is involved in corruption which is backed by jamiat but this event was organized by teachers and students so teachers and students will suffer. Administration backed by jamiat and other such illegal groups will keep looting.


  • Bilal Khan
    Oct 27, 2014 - 6:03PM

    This is preposterous. It’s not as if they were supporting Israel’s occupation of Gaza or anything like that. It was their job to represent Israel, as they were ASSIGNED that country. Representing Israeli culture is no different than representing the culture of any other country.


  • SamSal
    Oct 27, 2014 - 6:06PM

    What is all the fuss about?
    It was Model United Nations, and UN recognizes Israel. People should learn to co-exist and accept the fact that the world doesn’t revolve around muslims or Pakistan!!


  • Shahid Ijaz
    Oct 27, 2014 - 6:30PM

    When our nation will learn strategies of competition!
    If you really hate Israel then come in knowledge and research to compete with it. Making strikes, not letting buses to move outside university, making classes-off, ending stalls with bats and slogans, expelling deans and adviser is not a way to show that you don’t accept Israel, and you have hate for Jews. If you are really Islamic University, and if you are really capable to compete Israel then show your single researcher of their level?


  • Arhama Shirazi
    Oct 28, 2014 - 11:52AM

    And people need to learn that if the country that you belong to does not recognize a state, that particular state does not exist on papers for you, and at the same time exhibiting her stall means you are bringing a shame on your country’s stance and policies.


  • Sarfaraz
    Oct 29, 2014 - 10:16AM

    This went into total ignorance as the stall-planners did not even know the history of their own country; and which is that when you do not recognize a rogue state like Israel, you simply cannot even call it, or refer to it as a country.

    Many people have been speaking about ‘tolerance’ etc, mind it, they don’t know the history of this conflict. Only those should speak on such issues, who have vast general knowledge about the conflict and its different aspects (such as I do – and based on my knowledge, I feel disgusting that they show ignorance on this critical issue).

    It is not about religion, it is not about who recognizes them or not. It is about moral stand on the truth.


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