Demand that SFSU stop anti-Palestinian hostility and immediately restore Dr. Abdulhadi's courses

San Francisco State University Administrators

San Francisco State University (SFSU) is once again escalating its harassment of Dr. Rabab Abdulhadi, Director and Senior Scholar of Arab and Muslim Ethnicities and Diasporas (AMED) Studies, and intensifying its efforts to dismantle the AMED Studies program and its independence as it was envisioned when it was founded 2007. Without cause, justification or explanation, SFSU canceled the Palestine course, thus confirming its pro-Israel bias and complicity with Zionist organizations that have long sought to silence Palestinian voices and criminalize teaching Palestine curriculum on campuses nationwide. To add insult to injury, SFSU has furthermore reassigned Dr. Abdulhadi’s signature course “Colonialism, Imperialism and Resistance” to a faculty ally despite their joint opposition and rejection to drive a wedge between them and harass Dr. Abdulhadi just as she return from her sabbatical.

These actions are not out of the blue; they follow President Lynn Mahoney’s three consecutive vetoes of independent and randomly chosen faculty hearing panels, two of which unanimously ruled that SFSU violated the academic freedom of Dr. Abdulhadi and Dr. Kinukawa. The two panels unanimously faulted SFSU collusion with pro-Israel groups to censor the joint open classroom of the two professors on Palestine, gender, justice and resistance. As well, the third Faculty Hearing Panel, unanimously sided with Dr. Abdulhadi and affirmed that SFSU violated Dr. Abdulhadi’s job contract that committed the university to create the AMED Studies as an independent department starting immediately with three tenure-track faculty. Instead of building the program, SFSU has increasingly escalated the hostile work and study anti-Palestinian environment for Dr. Abdulhadi and her colleagues and the AMED Studies program and its students..  

SFSU's cancellation of the only Palestine course in the university cannot but be understood for what it is – a new attack on academic freedom and a blatant display of SFSU pro-Israel bias and anti-Palestinian racism, consistent with the history of systematic hostile actions against AMED Studies and Palestine-centered curriculum almost since its inception. Join us in demanding the immediate restoration of Professor Abdulhadi’s fall courses and defending AMED’s independence.

Call/email SFSU officials to demand reinstating Dr. Abdulhadi’s courses and an end to SFSU's hostility to Palestine and AMED Studies.


- President Lynn Mahoney:, +1 (415) 338-1381

- Provost Amy Sueyoshi:, +1 (415) 338-2572

- Dean of Faculty Carleen Mandolfo:, +1 (415) 338-2205

- Dean of College of Ethnic Studies Grace Yoo:, +1 (415) 338-2703

- Thank SFSU Faculty Union, CFA, for standing up for Dr. Abdulhadi, AMED & Labor Rights!:, +1 (415) 338-6232

Petition by
Daly City, California

To: San Francisco State University Administrators
From: [Your Name]

Dear Responsible SFSU Officials,

I am writing to express my grave concern regarding the recent actions taken by San Francisco State University (SFSU), specifically the cancellation of Dr. Rabab Abdulhadi's courses "Palestine: An Ethnic Studies Perspective" and the assignment of her signature course "Colonialism, Imperialism, and Resistance" to another professor despite their combined objection and offer to correct SFSU’s actions. The decision to cancel these important courses is not only a violation of academic freedom but it is also part of a troubling pattern of anti-Palestinian discrimination that has been observed at SFSU.

Dr. Abdulhadi's courses provide students with a unique opportunity to engage with critical and decolonizing understanding in the fields of ethnic studies, Palestine Studies, Middle East Studies, American Studies, and Social Movements, to name a few. They allow students to explore and develop justice-centered perspectives on Palestine, colonialism, and resistance, and a host of other areas. It is therefore extremely disappointing to witness an institution of higher learning, which should be dedicated to fostering intellectual growth and critical perspectives, engage in actions that undermine these very principles.

As concerned members of the academic and global community, we implore you to uphold the principles of academic freedom, as well as the university’s commitment to diversity and inclusion, which are seriously violated by the policies of harassment and censorship undertaken by the university against professor Abdulhadi.

I urge you to take immediate action to restore Dr. Abdulhadi's courses "Palestine: An Ethnic Studies Perspective" and "Colonialism, Imperialism, and Resistance” and take proactive steps to stop anti-Palestinian hostility on campus and protect Dr. Abdulhadi and her students and provide her with the disability accommodations she needs. That is the only way SFSU can regain its shaken credibility.

Thank you for your attention to this matter. We eagerly await your response and swift action to rectify this dire situation.