#WeStandWithHaneen Press Conference Challenges Chancellor's Response to Harassment

Haneen, a student and leader of the Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) at IUPUI received threatening phone calls last Tuesday following an incident at their Midwest Conference where they focus on issues in Palestine. Flyers were posted on campus calling her a terrorist. Nedal was also the subject of several blog posts calling her a “threat to IUPUI,” accusing her of being a terrorist, and sharing Islamic extremist views.

Although Haneen didn’t speak publicly at the press conference, The Campus Citizen interviewed her one-on-one, where she expressed her feelings and thoughts towards these recent threats. You can read that interview here.

A blog post written by someone known as Carter, posted March 22, 2016, accused Haneen of transforming the non-violent SJP into a group that expresses “hate for America.” Two more blog posts have surfaced on the internet, but IUPUI’s Chancellor Nassar Paydar and  faculty have been actively trying to take them down. One article posted in Live Journal has been taken down and is no longer publicly accessible.

Several students and faculty members wrote a letter addressing the threats against Haneen and called for Chancellor Paydar to, “issue a public statement against these attacks and to make clear the status of the University’s investigation of these heinous crimes.”

Dominic Dorsey, the associate director of Adaptive Education Services also known as the Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, explained how he and faculty members found out about what was happening with Haneen. Dorsey said that he knew Haneen personally and had helped at the Midwest Conference last weekend where he witnessed the incident first hand.

“The minute that everything started to steam roll I was just one of the individuals who was concerned about her safety,” said Dorsey. “The individuals who were like minded got together and tried to discuss how we could best support Haneen and in addition to that what steps need to be taken to securing her safety and the safety of other individuals on campus.”  

SJP and Erin Polley, the program coordinator for America Friends and Service Committee, organized the press conference this morning. A conference described by Hassan Jamal, a board member of SJP, as a way, “to make everything come out in the open.”

Many students, campus organizations, and the Indianapolis community have shared their support for Haneen on social media. IUPUI’s Black Student Union shared a picture on their Instagram displaying #WeStandWithHaneen as well as many others.

The Center for Interfaith Cooperation expressed support in a statement posted Wednesday, April 8. The Muslim Alliance Association who helped organized the Midwest Conference, extended their solidarity to Haneen as well.

In response to numerous support she’s received on social media Haneen said, “It’s a great feeling. It’s really nice to see that people support me and can say good things about me to try and put the articles down. So when you google my name it won’t show up as much anymore.  It’s overwhelming to see all the emails, all the texts, and messages and posts on Facebook. I try not to get on Facebook as much just because I see my name everywhere. So, it's really nice."

Haneen is pressing charges, and police are investigating these threats. The Chancellor has yet to make an official statement. We will keep you updated.