“Student Rights have violated my rights”

University of Salford student Muryum Khan argues that the Student Rights organisation, which campaigns against giving so-called extremist speakers a platform in universities, have violated her rights.

I am a student and I have rights granted to me by the European Convention on Human Rights.

I have a right to gain an education.

I have a right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion.

I have a right to be protected against discrimination.

The government granted me my rights, but “Student Rights” snatched them away from me.

Guantanamo Bay

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Earlier this year in April, Student Rights denied the public the opportunity to learn about one the vilest detention facilities on planet earth, the vicious monster we know as Guantanamo Bay.

Manchester managed to mobilise a group of individuals concerned about the human rights violations occurring in Guantanamo Bay, for the sake of raising awareness of the torture and blatant human rights violations that have been allowed to occur in detention facilities internationally.

“Absent Justice” was comprised of a variety of individuals from different walks of life including students, professionals, homemakers and youth. Months of planning, publicity and perseverance ended in tears and turmoil as Absent Justice’s event was crushed with a single blow by the online organisation Student Rights (www.studentrights.org.uk).

April would have seen the unification of 250+ people of conscience, uniting to listen to human rights lawyers and activists speak about what was happening in government “black sites,” how the detention facilities are a desecration of every individual’s human rights, and how we should respond in the face of these violations.

University pressured

But once Student Rights got wind of the event, within a matter of hours, it pressurised the university hosting the event into cancelling it by using its technique of making generalised comments about speakers’ past statements and providing unconvincing evidence to support its claims.

We know that Guantanamo Bay breaches pretty much most of the Convention of Human Rights, including use of torture, suppression of liberty and security, breach of habeas corpus and punishment without law. So Student Rights automatically impinged on the hundreds of individuals affected by the false “war on terror” imposed by governments across the world.

As students, we value our right to education and we want everyone to be able to share the beauty of this right. This is why we willingly acrue student debts in the quest of knowledge. Empowerment through education is a strong tool that students can use to attempt to fix the problems in this broken world.

Student Rights suppressed that right of education for many. Student Rights prevented those in the campaign who were Muslims from being able to fulfil one of their duties as a Muslim – to “Stand out firmly for justice” as decreed by Allah [most high] and achieve the reward outlined by the narration of Prophet Muhammad [peace be upon him]:

“For every day on which the sun rises, there is a (reward) for the one who establishes justice among people.”

A challenge to Student Rights

Often Student Rights have questioned the approval that universities have granted for speakers (usually Muslim), thus shaking the foundations of trust that students place in the universities’ rigorous checking procedures that are no doubt followed every time speakers are allowed on campus.

It is shocking that every time Student Rights does point their finger at a university hosting a certain event (often Islamic), that same university that granted approval in the first place, is quick to withdraw the approval.

So when rights come in to question, we urge universities to challenge Student Rights in solidarity with those individuals for whom universities exist – students themselves.

We expect Student Rights to be reading this article right now and we the students challenge Student Rights:

We challenge you on the basis of our right to “freedom of expression.”

We challenge you to come clean about the origins of your organization and sources of funding.

We challenge you to elaborate on your actual agenda and not the quasi statements made on your website.

We challenge you to provide evidence and statistics for your articles.

And most importantly, we invite you to attend our events in person and prove any allegations you attempt to make by doing justice to journalism by gaining evidence from both sides.

The views expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect the views of the 5Pillarz editorial board. To read Student Rights point of view please visit the following URL:


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