Layla Cassiem is a 14 year old student of Crawford College in South
Africa. She wrote an essay offering a counter argument to an article
displayed on a school noticeboard on zionist views on Palestine.
Layla Cassiem was threatened by fellow students and the Jewish
Defence Leaugue (a fundamentalist group). Instead of action being
taken to protect her rights and safety, her essay was taken out
of public view, and she was suspended from school. This was despite
the findings of the South Africa Board of Deputies that her essay
was not anti-semitic. During Layla Cassiems suspension, senior members
of the school made statements to the media, calling her 'pathological','anti-white',
'racist' and 'anti-semitic'. One teacher even stated that Layla
would 'make a good terrorist one day'.
The South African Human Rights Commision (SAHR) found that Layla's
rights had been violated on several counts by her school, Crawford
College. These violations included her rights both as child and
citizen to respect, dignity, freedom of expression, education and
protection from abuse. It found that the school had emotionally
abused Cassiem. In an unprecedented move, Crawford college obtained
an injunction preventing the SAHRC from going public with their
Layla is now 15 and attending a different school.
Read Layla Cassiems essay yourself - how can anyone possibly accuse
it of being anti-semitic?!
the Heart of Palestine ...
Sometime ago I noticed a huge article on this very noticeboard
detailing the origins of Israel, among other things. I felt
that this was most unfair and one-sided, seeing that no
Palestinian perspective was presented. Consequently my aim
is writing this article is to conscientise and educate this
predominantly Jewish school on the other side of the story.
This is an endeavour to put forth the views of the Palestinian
people, a people who have suffered tremendously since the
birth of Israel. Way back to the years immediately since
the birth of Israel. Way back to the years immediately after
the Second World War the Jews set their eyes on Palestine
as their future homeland because it was "a land without
a people for a people without a land". Of course this
was the biggest terminological inexactitude of the country.
The Palestinian Foreign Minister agrees and says furthermore
that the reason that the West was so eager to set up this
"Jewish homeland" was because the West had always
had this powerful, deadly need to place a white colony right
in the midst of Islam.
The Palestinian people have had their land brutally stolen
from them. Their lives were battered, their hopes annihilated,
they were thrust maliciously into the brewing pot of poverty,
indignity and oppression. As long as Israel denies the Palestinians
the right to have their land back, it denies and mocks their
right to be treated as human beings.
How you can help
(1) Write to the South African Minister for Education demanding
that he invesigate Crawford College for infringement of the Schools
Act in regard to the treatment of Layla Cassiem.
Prof AK Asmal Minister for Education
Private Bag X603
Tel:(012) 326 0126
Fax:(012) 323 5989
Private Bag X9034
Tel: (021) 465 7350
(2) Become a member of the Islamic Human Rights Commision - they
are actively campaigning on this and many other worthwhile issues
around the world.
Telephone (+44) 20 8902 0888, or (+44)958 522 196,