January 29th, 2007
A Muslim student who won a grievance case against the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) received thousands of pounds in compensation, London Student has learnt.
Nasser Amin, who won an apology from former SOAS Principal Colin Bundy over false claims that he had been reprimanded over an article published in student magazine Spirit, was paid £5,000 by the School in November last year.
SOAS was keen to keep details of the payment quiet in order to deter similar compensation claims from other students, but was forced to reveal under the Freedom of Information Act that it paid £5,000 to a student following a grievance settlement.
Whilst the details of Amin's settlement remain confidential under the terms of the agreement, the money was paid just days after Amin won his apology, and sources within SOAS confirmed that Amin was the recipient.
The long running case began in spring 2005, when Spirit magazine published Amin's article about the Middle East in which he argued that 'those who benefit from the immoral actions of a colonial state in which they have chosen to reside cannot be considered as innocent'.
Amin argued that he was simply warning of the danger of automatically siding with one's own people when dealing with moral issues, but the article sparked outrage from certain quarters, including commentator Melanie Phillips, who demanded that the police get involved. Amin also received death threats, and went through a period of depression.
Under pressure, SOAS Principal Bundy issued a public statement that Amin had been reprimanded, even though he had not been subject to a formal disciplinary process – necessary for a reprimand to be issued.
Amin pursued a grievance against Bundy, finally winning an apology last autumn. He is still studying for a Masters degree at SOAS, which has been heavily delayed by the case.