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Justice for Layla Cassiem

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 findings.

Layla is now 15 and attending a different school.

Read Layla Cassiems essay yourself - how can anyone possibly accuse it of being anti-semitic?!

From 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
Education Ministry
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.

Contact IHRC:
Telephone (+44) 20 8902 0888, or (+44)958 522 196,