Student/Alumni Petition In Support of Prof. Abdulkader Sinno

Indiana University administration has suspended Professor Abdelkader Sinno from teaching and advising because of his involvement with the Palestine Solidarity Committee at IU (PSC). Sinno is not only the faculty advisor for PSC, but also for many other Arab and Muslim organizations on campus. His suspension followed a PSC event that brought outspoken critic of Israeli apartheid and settler-colonialism, Miko Peled to IU.

It should be clear to anyone watching that despite the IU’s stated justification of him being a bad influence on students, this was an act of retaliation for his role in promoting pro-Palestine organizing on campus. Despite Sinno’s tenured position, the university violated its own procedures to punish him for his activism. His suspension was carried out by the Vice Provost of faculty and academic affairs, a violation of the IU policy that requires that such matters are handled by the Faculty Misconduct Review Committee.

We recognize this as the administration’s continued attempt to silence pro-Palestinian organizing on IU’s campus. Professor Sinno’s suspension directly affects PSC’s ability to organize efficiently. His dismissal is indicative of the broader anti-Palestinian disposition of the university and its administration. It appears this administration responded to pressure from Congressman Jim Banks’ letter to Indiana University calling for a crackdown on organizations such as PSC as well as issuing a threat to pull school funding.

The suspension of PSC’s faculty advisor is following a disturbing pattern emerging at universities across the country. At Columbia University, Students for Justice in Palestine and Jewish Voice for Peace were both illegitimately suspended after they held a protest for Palestine without getting approval 10 days in advance, just as Professor Sinno was suspended over room reservation complications. In both cases, the standard processes for sanctioning potential rule violations were superseded in order to swiftly and undemocratically punish them. Indiana University is not only borrowing this tactic of weaponizing bureaucracy, but escalating it to punish an individual rather than a group.

We demand Professor Sinno be reinstated immediately, and that IU cease its censorship of students and faculty speaking out against Israel’s genocide of the Palestinian people of Gaza.


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