Twitter is in an uproar after the Institute of Business Administration (IBA) Karachi expelled a student for publicly highlighting an incident of alleged harassment on campus. Many netizens protested the "gross overreaction" from the university administration and called for the decision to be immediately reversed.
Mohammad Gibrail witnessed a female employee of the varsity's finance department being allegedly harassed by a male employee in a supervisory position. He shared about the incident in a Facebook post and was expelled for not using the "right channels that are expected to be followed" by the institute, according to a statement shared on IBA's Facebook page.
Gibrail's expulsion has drawn strong criticism from many on social media. Lawyer and activist Mohammad Jibran Nasir highlighted the expulsion and said IBA has "sent a message to all female staff/students that they should never rely on any eye witness if they face harassment, as anyone who speaks up like Gibrail will be expelled". "At the same time it has told it is teaching it students to stay quiet and keep your head down when you witness injustice," he said.
Actor Mahira Khan called the decision "shameful" and "sad" on Twitter.
"His crime was to speak against injustice and [for] women’s rights. Disgusted and appalled by this action by IBA Karachi," PPP leader Sharmila Faruqui tweeted angrily.
"This is a gross overreaction from IBA which must be set right," journalist Zarrar Khuhro tweeted. "Such measures can and will only backfire."
"IBA administration should be ashamed of itself," tweeted journalist Khurram Husain. "Expelling a student for a Facebook post is the height of idiocy."
"You know your 'disciplinary decision' lacks merit when it needs to be 'explained' with this long a statement which despite its verbosity makes for little actual sense," a tweet read.
"This is a terrible and outrageous decision by IBA Karachi," shared activist Usama Khilji. "People who speak up about harassment and abuse should be celebrated and awarded, not punished. Take this ridiculous decision back. All IBA alumni must raise their voice against this fascism by an education institute."
"IBA will be known for silencing people who come out with truth, it will be known for nurturing sexual harassers, it will be known for putting the safety of its female staff and students at risk," a tweet read. "Shame on you!"
IBA Karachi's decision sets a dangerous precedent of punishing those who speak up against sexual harassment on campus. The expulsion is as much an injustice to victims as it is to Gibrail whose only crime was to speak up about an incident he witnessed.