Press Releases

CAIR-Oregon Calls for UO President Schill to Reconsider Remarks on BDS

(PORTLAND, OR, 5/31/2018) The Oregon chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-Oregon) today called on University of Oregon President Michael Schill to reconsider remarks he made in a statement released after the Associated Students of the University of Oregon (ASUO) passed a resolution endorsed by 30 student groups in support of aspects of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions Campaign.

In a statement commenting on the ASUO’s resolution, President Schill intimated that support of BDS is divisive. He further suggested that criticism of the Israeli government equates to anti-Semitism.

In a statement, CAIR-Oregon Board Chair Zakir Khan said:

“We find the language that UO President Schill used improper, and inconsiderate. At the moment, thousands of Palestinians are currently barricaded in an open air prison, suffering through continuous harassment, destruction, and trauma. President Schill’s remarks fail to mention a single sentence about the over 70-year plight of Palestinians under illegal Israeli occupation. In order for him to get a better understanding of where they’re coming from, we encourage President Schill to visit Palestinian families in Portland so that he can gain a more balanced perspective on what they have endured, and what constitutes more inclusive messaging.”

“Undoubtedly, his remarks only serve to further marginalize Palestinians, Muslims, and those who have faced oppression and discrimination, especially in our community. The decision undertaken by the ASUO made students of color and other marginalized groups finally feel heard. We applaud the ASUO’s decision to stand in solidarity with the Palestinian people during this Holy Month of Ramadan.”

“We also encourage President Schill to start speaking out more openly about Islamophobia and the hate crimes endured by the Muslim community in Oregon and Eugene. President Schill’s silence on this issue promotes divisiveness and is, in itself, an inconsistency to UO’s value of inclusion. With over 60,000 Muslims in this state, the University of Oregon should be a place where Muslim students, faculty, and staff feel welcomed and embraced.”

SEE: Eugene’s Muslims Face Added Hostility, Advocate for UnderstandingEarlier this month CAIR-Oregon called upon Oregon’s Congressional Delegation to speak more openly about the oppression Palestinians are facing.

SEE: CAIR-Oregon Calls on Congressional Delegation to Speak Out Against Israel’s Massacre of Palestinians

CAIR is America’s largest Muslim civil liberties and advocacy organization. Its mission is to enhance understanding of Islam, protect civil rights, promote justice, and empower American Muslims.

La misión de CAIR es proteger las libertades civiles, mejorar la comprensión del Islam, promover la justicia, y empoderar a los musulmanes en los Estados Unidos.

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CONTACT: Zakir Khan, CAIR-Oregon Board Chair,, 626-502-8450; CAIR-Oregon Board Member Seemab Hussaini,, 310-948-2040


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