ASU students claim investigation into their harassment of white students in multicultural center is 'racially biased'

"Dear white people, aka ASU, you openly discriminated against us on November 16, when you handed down your decision from your racially biased investigation," said Mastaani Qureshi.

Hannah Nightingale Washington DC

Following an investigation into two students last month into their conduct in September when they filmed and harassed two white, male students in the Arizona State University’s multicultural center, those students are claiming the school is conducting a "racially biased investigation."

"It's been more than two months since the incident, and Sarra and I received these threats every single day. Mastaani Qureshi in an Instagram video posted to the school’s Multicultural Solidarity Coalition account. Qureshi was one of the two women that filmed the incident in September.

"ASU was aware of how we were getting doxxed, and suffering psychological and emotional violence by white supremacists from across the country, but it still did not protect us," said Sarra Tekola, the other student that filmed and harassed the students in the center. The two students videotaped their harassment of the other students and posted it to social media themselves.

"Instead, they launched an investigation against us and we had to mobilize the community to protect ourselves from being kicked out by the institution. ASU's investigation found found us guilty of interfering with university activities," she continued.

"Dear white people, aka ASU, you openly discriminated against us on November 16, when you handed down your decision from your racially biased investigation. We are being persecuted for defending our multicultural center from racism and sexism," said Qureshi.

Qureshi said that the school handed the two women two punishments. The first was a warning, the second was writing a "three page paper on how next time when we talk with white people about race in society, we will be civil."

"We're going to give ASU an educational intervention on why telling students of color at ASU to be more civil in the face of white supremacy and Neo Nazism on this campus is actually violent," said Tekola.

"ASU is a violent place," Qureshi added, pointing to an incident last week in which ripped and burned pages of the Quran Majeed were allegedly put in the Interfaith Room on campus.

Tekola added that on October 31, an ASU group called the College Republicans United allegedly spread anti-semitic flyers across campus.

"And these are just the attacks sad happened since our own viral incident on September 23. This tells you a little bit about the type of environment, the toxic place that ASU wants us to be civil in," said Tekola.

On September 23, the two students filmed and harassed two white, male students that were in the school’s Multicultural Center. One of the white students had a "police lives matter" sticker on his laptop, which the two women say was pointed at a black woman in the space.

"You're making the space uncomfortable… You're white. Do you understand what a multicultural space is? It means you're not being centered," one of the female students filming said from behind the camera.

One of the students being filmed said, "You don’t think white is a culture?"

The videographer responded, "It's not a culture. No, it's not a culture. White is not a culture. Say it again to the camera where you think whiteness is a culture. So anyways, this is the violence that ASU does, and this is the type of people that they protect. Okay. This white man thinks he can take up our space and this is why we need a multicultural space because they think they can get away with this sh*t."

In November, a news conference was conducted by Qureshi, Tekola, and activist groups in response to discipline handed out by the school.

In this press conference, they said that ASU failed to protect them from harassment they received following the September incident.


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