Islamic Bloc at An-Najah

Why did the Middle East Forum launch a petition to end San Francisco State University (SFSU)'s memorandum of understanding (MOU) with An-Najah University? Read on.

Located in the West Bank city of Nablus, An-Najah reflects the ideological and political currents of the wider society to which it belongs. In other words, An-Najah is a hotbed of Islamist radicalism. Going back to at least 2001, clear documentation exists that prominent current and former students were directly involved in terrorism, as well as pro-terrorist propaganda and incitement.

For example, a former leader of the Hamas-run student group Islamic Bloc (Kutla Islamiya) and head of the An-Najah student council, dispatched the suicide bomber who perpetrated the August 2001 attack on Sbarro Pizzeria in Jerusalem. Shortly thereafter, An-Najah art students constructed a gruesome display of the Sbarro bombing that was so offensive that even then-Palestinian leader Yasir Arafat was forced to denounce it and order the exhibit closed.

As recently as this past July, Muhammad Fakih perpetrated a drive-by shooting that killed Otniel Yeshiva director Rabbi Michael Mark and wounded his wife and two of their children. Fakih previously spent four years in Israeli prison for terrorist activity with Islamic Jihad while studying at An-Najah.

Student events lauding successful Hamas murderers, demonstrating solidarity with terrorists, and praising other forms of radicalism and anti-Semitism have been frequent at An-Najah. And they have not been limited to students: high-ranking staff and faculty at An-Najah have been directly linked to the promotion of terrorism, suicide bombings, anti-Jewish propaganda, and other disturbing behavior.

The architect of the MOU, Rabab Abdulhadi, director of SFSU's Arab and Muslim Ethnicities and Diaspora Initiative, has pledged to set up a student exchange program with An-Najah, posing a significant security risk to SFSU students, faculty, and the wider community.

With this petition, we're letting SFSU President Leslie Wong know that SFSU's partnership with a university that promotes terrorism is dangerous, outrageous, and unacceptable. Please pass it on!