Last November a Jewish student submitted a motion to Ryerson’s Semi-Annual General Student Union Meeting to hold a holocaust education week. When it was thought that this motion would pass, more than 100 students, mainly members of the Ryerson Muslim Students Association and Students for Justice in Palestine, walked out. This broke quorum, which ended the meeting.
Several months later it was revealed that student union president, Obaid Ullah, orchestrated the walkout, and then lied about it. Obaid claimed that he supported the motion and merely wanted to defer the vote until a board meeting, where he believed it would pass. When one looks at Obaid’s history, however, this raises some eyebrows.
For instance, Obaid spoke in favour of a BDS resolution before the student union. That resolution passed in 2014. He called Israel a “fake state” and praised Pakistan, a country governed by strict Sharia law. He claimed in a tweet that the U.S. kills civilians, thus explaining why the country supports Israel. He also claimed that the Hamas kidnapping of three Israeli teenagers in 2014 was “bulls**.”
Despite harbouring such extreme views, Ullah was not ousted from his role as student president, which by the way, earns him $36,000. In fact, he even went on to become a Ryerson Student Union director for the 2017-2018 school year. One could reasonably believe that if it was another minority group that Ullah targeted, he would have lost that position.