NEW YORK –The City University of New York (CUNY) Law School graduate who in May delivered a controversial commencement address clarified she wouldn’t change a word of her widely denounced words that took shot at Israel and the United States.
In her first public comments since outrage erupted following her May 12 speech, Fatima Mohammed told Jewish Currents she has no regrets after accusing Israel of indiscriminately murdering Palestinians and calling the NYPD “fascists.”
“I would not change a single word of my speech — and I would say it louder,” she said Tuesday.
Mohammed noted that she was surprised by the CUNY board’s belated condemnation of her and never expected how loud the condemnation would grow against the speech.
“As a student organizer, I understand that there are powers that dedicate time, energy, and resources into stifling student activism on campus, because of how powerful it is — students have historically led revolutions,” she said.
Mohammed urged classmates to join her in a 'revolution'
During her address, Mohammed called for a "revolution" to confront what she deemed the legal system's "white supremacy." She launched scathing attacks on city police, the US military and accused Israel of carrying out "indiscriminate" murder.
Mohammed claimed that the school continues "to train Israeli soldiers to carry out that violence globally."
Furthermore, she labeled the US legal system as a manifestation of white supremacy, accusing it of oppressing people both in the US and around the world. Urging her classmates to join her in a "Revolution," Mohammed called for the fight against capitalism, racism, imperialism and Zionism.
Her speech has drawn sharp criticism from various quarters, prompting a fierce debate over free speech, the appropriateness of the venue and the use of public funds. It brought condemnation from elected officials, including NYC Mayor Eric Adams and Congressman Ritchie Torres. The address was eventually rebuked by the school’s leaders and board of trustees, which called the it “hate speech.”
"Imagine being so crazed by hatred for Israel as a Jewish State that you make it the subject of your commencement speech at a law school graduation," Torres wrote on Twitter. "Anti-Israel derangement syndrome at work."
The speech also garnered a protest earlier this month by Jewish activists demanding consequences for the dean of CUNY law school for giving a platform to Mohammed.
The rally, held outside the CUNY chancellor's office in midtown Manhattan, was organized by the End Jew Hatred movement. Americans Against Antisemitism, former Democratic New York State Assemblyman Dov Hikind and social media influencer Elizabeth Savetsky are among those slated to attend.
"We must act against Jew-hatred and not just talk about it," Hikind said, calling for the termination of Dean Sudha Setty and any CUNY professors who endorsed the speech.
CUNY is the 'most systemically antisemitic US university'
A 12-page report released just days ahead of the controversial commencement speech claimed that CUNY has become the most systemically antisemitic US school in the past two years.
The report was compiled by Students and Faculty for Equality at CUNY (SAFE CUNY), an NGO that describes itself as an alliance of CUNY students or scholars. The report alleges that there are alarming levels of deep-rooted, systemic antisemitism at the highest levels of CUNY "perpetuated through lies, coverups, retaliation campaigns, intimidation against whistleblowers and corruption that has penetrated the deepest corners and the most senior leaders of the university."
While the report shies away from investigating or re-investigating the "relentless barrage of antisemitic incidents since at least 2015," CUNY has made a slew of headlines in recent years for anti-Jewish occurrences.