Student faces up to 5 years in prison for throwing a rock at Jewish Students

Sayed Quraishi, the offending student, allegedly told the police he knew he used the rock as a weapon.

The violent protest took place during Passover.

Sayed Ahmad Quraishi, a student at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC), is facing felony charges after throwing rocks at Jewish students during an April 18 anti-Israel protest.

Quraishi joined a crowd organized by UIUC’s Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) outside the Jewish Illini Hillel Cohen Center to protest April clashes between Israeli police and pro-Palestinian demonstrators, The Algemeiner reports

The SJP protest took place during Passover.

[RELATED: ‘Jewish students celebrate Passover as anti-Semitism persists on college campuses’]

Quraishi felt that students in Hillel were being disrespectful while a pro-Palestine speaker spoke on violence against women and children, so he picked up a rock and threw it into a crowd of Jewish students, The News-Gazette reported.

Quraishi was arrested on June 14 and has since appeared in court. He faces up to five years in prison for the hate crime.

Campus Reform spoke to a UIUC student who traveled to Israel with a campus Jewish group to get his perspective on the events. The student requested to remain anonymous. 

The student said that those who are anti-Israel on campus are “a very small group [because] the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is way too complicated for many people and thus many students don’t care about it.”

[RELATED: ‘Anti-Israel activist delivers graduation address at 'hotbed of radical antisemitism']

He added that members of the anti-Israel SJP, “though…not very educated”, are nevertheless “surprisingly passionate.”

Campus Reform has reached out to the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and Illini Hillel; this article will be updated accordingly.