Arizona Schools Urged to Keep UNICEF and Amnesty International Off School Campuses
On Wednesday, Nov. 15, the Arizona chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-AZ) will hold a news conference to respond to the intimidation of members of Desert Mountain High School’s UNICEF and Amnesty International clubs seeking to support Palestinian human rights. State Superintendent Tom Horne recently warned Arizona schools to avoid UNICEF and Amnesty International, both internationally-respected organizations that defend the human rights of all people. In this opinion editorial, we will discuss the issue at hand and why supporting the cause of Palestinian human rights is essential.
The Issue at Hand
Desert Mountain High School’s UNICEF and Amnesty International clubs expressed their support for Palestinian human rights by presenting materials that highlighted the human rights violations that were taking place in Palestine. These materials were deemed as “anti-American” by the State Superintendent. We believe that this response is both misguided and unfounded. It is not anti-American to support the universal human rights of individuals who have been subjected to oppression and injustice.
Defending Human Rights is Not a Desperate Cabal
The State Superintendent’s statement calling UNICEF and Amnesty International a “desperate cabal” is both inappropriate and unprofessional to say the least. These organizations have been instrumental in defending human rights worldwide and have received recognition for their contributions. Instead of trying to silence and suppress their voices, it would be beneficial for the State Superintendent to engage in an open dialogue with these organizations to gain better insight into their values and objectives.
Why Supporting Palestinian Human Rights is Essential
Palestinians have been subjected to injustice and oppression for decades. The human rights violations that are taking place in Palestine, including the construction of illegal settlements, restrictions on movement, and denial of basic services, are well-documented. It is essential for individuals and organizations to support the cause of Palestinian human rights to put an end to these violations.
CAIR’s mission is to protect civil rights, enhance understanding of Islam, promote justice, and empower American Muslims. We believe that supporting the cause of Palestinian human rights is in line with this mission. We urge the State Superintendent and Arizona school district superintendents to engage in an open dialogue with organizations like UNICEF and Amnesty International rather than making unfounded statements and suppressing their voices.
Keywords: UNICEF, Amnesty International, Human Rights, Palestine, State Superintendent, Arizona