[Open letter] Dear Executive Board, stay neutral in this war

In this open letter, the Board of Ibn Firnas, the Muslim Student Association, is asking the TU Delft Executive Board to remain neutral regarding the war in the Middle East.

(Photo: Justyna Botor)

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Dear Executive Board,

Since the outbreak of war in the Middle East, it has been heartbreaking to witness the incredibly severe situation that is still ongoing. Our thoughts are with all the victims who, regardless of which side of the wall they are on, did not ask for this war.

In recent days, however, our solidarity was overtaken by astonishment to see that the boards of various Dutch universities have been called upon to become involved in this highly sensitive public debate by expressing one-sided support.

We hereby urge TU Delft to maintain its neutral stance and to uphold its own Code of Conduct.

Given TU Delft’s international, ethical and respectful character, it is simply not conducive for students or staff if TU Delft were to engage in non-Dutch, non-European politics. Expressions of support will result in TU Delft colouring itself politically and breaching the following foundational values of the Code of Conduct.

  1. Diversity: ‘At TU Delft we embrace diversity and aim to be as inclusive as possible. We follow The Universal Declaration of Human Rights, believing that “All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights”…’
  2. Respect: ‘Respecting each other, and thus the diversity of our community, implies that people are never treated merely as a means towards the attainment of personal or organisational goals, and that we respect each other’s freedom and ambition to excel …’
  3. Trust: … We take responsibility for our actions and avoid conflicts of interest and the semblance thereof …’

The current political situation has been ongoing for the past 75 years. We sincerely believe that a diplomatic and just course of action is the right answer to ending the heaps of injustices. While we may be unable to exert direct positive influence in that region, it is incumbent on us to not let events abroad negatively influence the TU Delft community.

As such, we trust that TU Delft, as it has always done, will provide tailored support to its students and assist those in need, especially those going through difficult times like these. Our thoughts and prayers are with the victims of this devastating war.

Yours sincerely,

Board of MSA Ibn Firnas

This is an edited version of the letter Ibn Firnas sent to the TU Delft Executive Board on 17 October.

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