USC canceling Muslim valedictorian’s speech inflames tensions on campus


USC’s decision to cancel Muslim valedictorian Asna Tabassum’s speech has sparked tensions on campus. The announcement of Tabassum’s selection as valedictorian had initially uplifted the spirits of many students, but the subsequent cancellation due to security concerns related to the Middle East conflict has led to widespread dismay.

Quick Facts

  • Students at USC were disappointed when the university canceled Muslim valedictorian Asna Tabassum’s speech due to security concerns.
  • University officials cited escalating tensions related to the ongoing conflict in the Middle East as the reason for the cancellation.
  • Tabassum’s supporters believe the university’s decision is unjust and are questioning the validity of the security concerns.

Following the announcement of Tabassum’s valedictorian status, USC Provost Andrew Guzman rescinded her invitation to speak at graduation, citing security concerns over tensions related to the ongoing conflict in the Middle East. The decision was met with disappointment and disbelief by many students, who had seen Tabassum’s selection as a positive step towards inclusivity and representation on campus.

Supporters of Tabassum, including first-year student Danica Gonzalez, have expressed skepticism about the university’s justification for the cancellation. They argue that the university should be able to provide adequate security for the event, especially given its history of hosting high-profile figures such as former President Barack Obama and his family.

The controversy surrounding Tabassum’s selection as valedictorian intensified when pro-Israel and Jewish groups raised concerns about her social media activity, particularly a post advocating for Palestinian rights. This led to accusations of antisemitism and calls for the university to reconsider its decision. The incident has underscored the broader tensions and divisions on college campuses in light of the Israel-Hamas conflict.


Leave a Comment