An apology

McGill Tribune

My name is Haaris Khan. I am not an anti-Semite. I am not a terrorist. I am not a threat to my fellow students on campus. I can be an idiot sometimes, though. I’ve learned that using my voice in a public forum comes with great responsibility. Politics can be nasty and human emotion can lead to colossal errors. In my case, I can only say that I erred in such a way. For that I am very sorry. My comments were totally inappropriate and I would never harm my fellow students. I have never been a violent person and I have never had any violent altercations in my life. I came to McGill University wanting to contribute, not destroy.

My comments on Twitter last week have caused quite a bit of concern for some students on campus, McGill security services, school administration, and the police. I recognize the gravity of the situation considering the nature of my tweets, which were meant in jest. After reflecting on my comments, I can only say that I truly regret saying them and that it was a very poor decision.

One question that seems to come up a lot is why I reacted the way I did to the documentary screening hosted by Conservative McGill and Libertarian McGill. Really, it had little to do with the movie itself and more to do with the negative attitude I had going into the event, my pre-existing ideological differences with those at the event, and the fact that I wasn’t in the right state of mind at the time.

I am anti-Zionist. The Israel-Palestine conflict is a very sensitive subject and it’s easy to become worked up about it if you care passionately about the issue. I also realize that anti-Zionism tends to go hand in hand with anti-Semitism because of the complex relationship between the Jewish identity and Israel. This creates a fine line when it comes to criticizing Israel and Zionism. I do not harbour any hatred towards Jewish people. My Jewish sister-in-law, whom I love very dearly, and my niece who is Jewish by tradition are both people that are close to my heart and their cultural or religious backgrounds have nothing to do with how I see them.

I think that Jewish culture is colourful and its history is inspirational. My objection to the policies of the state of Israel and the treatment of the Palestinians are purely political and in no way reflect how I view Jewish people.

I apologize to those who were at the screening of Indoctrinate U and any other people who were offended or felt threatened by my tweets. It was never my intention to be a divisive or antagonistic figure at McGill. I have strong opinions and a strong passion for justice. My goal now is to channel that into a more responsible discourse.

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