Statement from the Directors of CSA and Abbasi Program

As Directors of the Abbasi Program in Islamic Studies and the Center for South Asia, we, Ali Yaycioglu and Anna Bigelow, condemn violence against students in light of the hate crime reported against an Arab Muslim student that occurred on November 3 on the Stanford campus. Such incidents are not isolated, and we are deeply concerned for the well-being and safety of the Palestinian, Arab, and Muslim communities, as well as all other identity groups at the university.


As leaders of academic units dedicated to fostering deeper understanding of the histories, cultures, religions, literatures, and politics of the Middle East and South Asia as well as Muslim, Arab and Palestinian communities worldwide, we firmly believe that the analysis of the multifaceted dynamics giving rise to such events is central to our purpose. We will continue to research and teach about Palestine and the Palestinian diaspora, Islamophobia and antisemitism, and the minoritization and racialization of ethnic and religious groups. 


We are unwavering in our commitment to academic excellence, professional responsibility, free inquiry, critical examination, diversity, respect, transparency and inclusion within the university. We unequivocally reject violence and intimidation in the conduct of campus debates. We stand with all our students who are at risk regardless of their identity and applaud those students who have dedicated themselves to peaceful protest and community education. 


We endorse and affirm Provost Jenny Martinez’s statements to the Faculty Senate on November 2, in which she categorically rejected violence on campus. We also appreciate the message sent to students on November 6 by Susie Brubaker-Cole, the Vice Provost for Student Affairs, and Associate Vice Provosts Mona Hicks and Samuel Santos Jr., as they reject Islamophobia and ethnic hatred and recognize the structural aspects of these persistent issues that required attention at Stanford.