Students and academics at a university in Pakistan are facing the administration’s wrath after the State of Israel was represented at a Model United Nations event on the premises last week.
The International Islamic University Islamabad (IIUI) expelled the event’s organizers, a student affairs adviser and a dean — and cancelled the whole event — after an Israel stall was set up as part of the MUN activities, complete with a picture of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and the Israeli flag, according to a report in the Express Tribune, a part of the International New York Times.
The report mentioned that the students “donned the Israeli dresses and were trying their best to represent the country’s culture,” though it didn’t say which “Israeli dresses” are in reference.
The university said it was likely to take disciplinary action against the students and opened a probe into the incident.
MUN is a simulation game that many universities across the world take part in, as an educational method of learning about the world body and its functions. Students are assigned countries to represent on the “world stage.”
IIUI’s students, members of Jamaat-e-Islami’s student wing, who attended the “Global Village” fair on Friday were shocked by the stall and demanded that management take action.
According to an organizer who spoke to the Express Tribune, the event was cancelled after some 100 students showed up with batons and threatened to resort to violence.
The university said in a statement that the stall was set up without the knowledge or approval of the academic institution’s authorities.
Students involved in the event indicated that the management was trying to unfairly push the responsibility onto them, and deflect attention from the fact that every MUN conference has an Israeli representation, as Israel is a full member of the UN.
The paper cited a Facebook status posted by a student of the university as saying that “a stall doesn’t necessarily mean that they support Israel, it is just a representation of a country.”