The newly elected President of the National Union of Students (NUS) who campaigns to lower the national voting age to 16 has said her comments on oppressing white people and an “Islamic Takeover” should be ignored because she was 16 years old when she made them.
Zamzam Ibrahim, who was president of Salford University Students’ Union and served as the NUS vice president for Society and Citizenship until her election as president of the body this week, made the comments online on a variety of websites including the Twitter blogging platform.
The reports of Ibrahim’s comments first surfaced in 2017 during her tenure as the Salford University student boss, but the widespread knowledge of her apparently extremist views does not seem to have impeded her rise to the top of Britain’s National Union of Students almost two years later.
Sounds like a nice lady… https://t.co/ZYpi8vdKrW
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) July 1, 2017
As Breitbart London reported at the time, Ms Ibrahim has a history of controversial comments, some of which come from answers given to an online questions and answers website, where users are challenged to give their honest thoughts on issues to help others. On whether men and women can be friends, for instance, Ibrahim wrote: “I’ve had this debate with many friends! Maybe in some cases but Islamically it’s incorrect for girls to be friends with a guy anyway!
“So I’m gonna say NO not the kind of friendship they can have with the same gender there is always boundaries.”
On what one book everyone should read, she answered: “The Quaraan [sic]. We would have an Islamic takeover!” And on what law she would enact if she were “president for the day”, Ibrahim said she would want “[to] oppress white people just to give them a taste of what they put us through!”
Student Union President Facing Impeachment for Pro-Life Views
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) October 12, 2017
London’s The Times newspaper reports that Ibrahim has since sought to explain away her remarks, blaming them on youthful folly. She said that: “The adolescent comments of a young girl were twisted to make them seem far more sinister than they ever were intended to be . . . the comments clearly do not reflect my views today.
“In 2012, when the tweets were written, I was just 16 years old. I was struggling with my view of the world and my place in it. I was grappling with the deep injustices I could see around me and trying to figure out how I could make the world a better place.”
Yet Ibrahim’s claims that the “adolescent comments of a young girl” aged 16 should not be taken seriously stands in direct contradiction with her more recent writings while a vice president of the NUS, where she has campaigned to lower the voting age for national elections — to 16 years old.
She wrote in support of the campaign to lower the voting age for Westminster and other elections which asserts that 16-year-olds are mature enough to contribute to political decisions which shape the future direction of the country: ” …the campaign to give 16 and 17 year olds an equal say in how our society is run. To secure a Fair Vote for all… [the vote at 18] is a situation that cannot go on.”
Ms Ibrahim has also spoken out against the government’s PREVENT strategy, aimed at tackling Islamic extremism. She is not the first NUS representative to speak out against the programme. An NUS policy, under the name Students Not Suspects is responsible for opposing the PREVENT strategy and according to one think tank, has become a vehicle for extremism.
The Henry Jackson Society (HJS) said in 2018 that Students Not Suspects has effectively become a vehicle for extremist interests”. They warned: “It advances extremist tropes, extremist speakers and extremist narratives – all the while attacking anybody, NUS officials or otherwise, who distance themselves from its position.”
Students’ Union Campaign ‘Has Become Vehicle for Extremist Interests’, Warns Think Tank https://t.co/k2lttJRcf4
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) February 4, 2018
Continuing, the report said: “They have accused critics and fellow students of being motivated by racism and Islamophobia.”
Ibrahim is not the first NUS president to have made such comments and one of her predecessors, Malia Bouattia, who was NUS President in 2016, said that the University of Birmingham was “something of a zionist outpost”, and also voted against a motion to condemn the actions of the Islamic State terrorist group which she labelled as ‘Islamophobic’.