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LSE Students' Union Slams Controversial 'Student Rights' Group

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LSE Students' Union published an open letter Friday condemning the controversial "counter-extremism" group Student Rights for what campaigners call its 'demonisation' of Muslim students.

This latest criticism from the LSE follows a wave of opposition with a number of students' unions passing policy in recent weeks severing ties with the organisation.

Students' unions across London including at UCL, Goldsmiths, Birkbeck, and LSE, have adopted 'no-engagement' policies against Student Rights with more unions expected to pass the motion in coming weeks.

Campaigners for the motion criticise Student Rights for its links to the controversial Henry Jackson Society think-tank and have sought to highlight the pronouncements of HJS associate director Douglas Murray who infamously remarked that 'conditions for Muslims in Europe must be made harder across the board'.

It remains to be seen whether the fervent opposition from students to Student Rights will cause the organisation to disband or radically change its approach but for now it seems calls for the organisation to cease its activities are only growing on campuses.

The open letter from LSE SU to Mr. Raheem Kassam, director of the Henry Jackson Society's 'Student Rights' project, criticising the organisation can be found below:

"Dear Mr. Kassam,

On the 5th December 2013, LSE Students' Union voted to condemn and formalise our stance against Student Rights. We view Student Rights' disproportionate preoccupation with Muslim students to be sensationalist, divisive and counter-productive and we have therefore instituted a no-engagement policy with your organisation.

The full text of the policy is available here.

As a project of the hard-right Henry Jackson Society, whose senior staff have declared that 'conditions for Muslims in Europe must be made harder across the board', we believe your role in debates around campus issues have and will continue to contribute to the demonisation and marginalisation of Muslim students. The lack of transparency and lack of student input with which your organisation operates only serve to reinforce our stance.

Student Rights' track record in fuelling press hostility against Muslim students ought to worry us all and as such we are pleased that our members, students of the LSE, have collectively decided to make it known that they oppose your organisation and its agenda.

For the reasons outlined above and in the text of our policy, we reiterate our fervent opposition to Student Rights and hope that we, alongside other students, are able to rectify the damage you have caused by firstly making it known that we reject your claim to represent student interests and secondly by continuing with our efforts to build more cohesive and inclusive campuses.

Sincerely,

LSE Students' Union"