Harvard students file civil rights complaint claiming harassment for supporting Palestinian rights

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Harvard students filed a civil rights complaint against the university on Monday, alleging the school has not supported or protected students who have been harassed for being Palestinian, Arab, Muslim or supporters of Palestinian rights. 

The complaint was filed by the Muslim Legal Fund of America with the Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights. 

In a statement, the group says the complaint was filed on behalf of “more than a dozen students, demanding an immediate investigation into Harvard’s failure to protect these students from harassment, intimidation, threats and more based solely on them being Palestinian, Arab, Muslim, and supporters of Palestinian rights.” 

The students allege that “rampant harassment and racist attacks” have been commonplace at Harvard for those of Arab lineage or supporters of Palestine. The complaint says students have been doxed, stalked and assaulted on campus.  

“As a Palestinian student at Harvard, the racism and harassment I have faced is shocking, terrifying, and outrageous,” said one of the students in the statement.

“We have been chased, spat at, stalked, and hounded by doxxing trucks on campus, and even at our families’ homes. On top of worrying about my family’s safety in Palestine, I’m living in fear of being attacked while walking to class. No student should have to live like this.” 

The complaint comes as pro-Palestine groups have raised the alarm over attacks on college campuses against Palestinians and supporters of Palestine since the war began between Israel and Hamas.  

It also adds to Harvard’s mounting challenges as House Republicans are conducting their own probe against the school for a rise of antisemitism on campus.  

Harvard’s former president, Claudine Gay, resigned in early January amid blowback to her testimony at a congressional hearing, in which she would not say unequivocally that calls for the genocide of Jews would violate the school’s conduct policy.

The Hill has reached out to Harvard for comment.  

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