YEMEN Press Agency

USC bars top student from delivering speech due to her support for Palestine

WORLD, April 18 (YPA) – The University of Southern California (USC) has barred Asna Tabassum, the 2024 valedictorian, from delivering her speech at the commencement ceremony due to allegations of antisemitism in her pro-Palestinian social media posts.

Tabassum, a Muslim biomedical engineering student, expressed shock and disappointment at the decision, which she believes is influenced by hate.

The University cited security and disruption concerns amid escalating tensions surrounding the Israel-Palestine conflict.

This sparked considerable debate regarding freedom of expression in American universities.

The university president’s decision to prevent the student from giving the graduation speech came after attacks from groups supporting the Zionist occupation.

In her statement, released through the Council of American Islamic Relations (Cair), Tabassum criticized the University’s decision, calling it a capitulation to a “campaign of hate” aimed at silencing her voice.

She was selected as the valedictorian from a pool of around 100 graduating students with exceptional academic records.