Muslims Call For Widening of Academic Boycott Against Israel
Tehran Times (Tehran)
13 July 2002
LONDON -- Muslim leaders in the UK Friday called for an extension
of the international academic boycott of Israel to economic fields
amid attempts in the British media to discredit the campaign, IRNA
The campaign to boycott academics is a "clear message to Israel
that it is committing moral outrage," Secretary General of
the Muslim Council of Britain Iqbal Sacranie said.
"A regime armed with F-16s that it deploys against civilians
is unlikely to be immediately swayed by such a campaign, however,
if apartheid ended, so can the occupation -- but international pressure
will have to be just as determined," he said.
Two Israelis, working for Manchester University, have already been
reportedly dismissed from their posts in Tel Aviv as part of the
boycott of research and cultural ties, which has been publicly backed
by some 700 European academics.
The dismissals have led to accusation in the British press this
week that the campaign is "anti-Semitic" or "racist"
by singling out Israelis.
But in a letter to the Guardian on behalf of eight Muslims, Palestinian
and human rights organizations, Sacranie repeated their support
for the boycott campaign and urged for it to be extended to economic
"In the absence of government taking decisive action to condemn
the Israeli illegal occupation, the ONUS has shifted to civil society,"
"Additionally, emulating the strategy for dealing with apartheid
South Africa, we call on academic communities in the UK to advocate
a more general policy of divestment of British academic, financial
and commercial investment from Israel," his letter said.