Queens College, Instagram stories

November 2023
Queens College, City University of New York (Public college or university)
Queens, New York

Identity of Speakers


Additional Information

  • Incident Nature:
    Student publication
  • Incident Political Orientation:
    Not Clear
  • Incident Responses:
  • Incident Status:
    No litigation
  • Was Speech Code incident


In early November of last year, the Queens College Muslim Student Association (QCMSA) posted two satirical stories on its Instagram account that questioned the mainstream reports related to Hamas’ Oct. 7 attack on Israel.

The first story depicted three decapitated gummy bears alongside a message reading “BREAKING NEWS: Israeli intelligence releases gruesome images of Israeli babies whose heads had been decapitated and consumed by Hamas militants.” The second story contained text that stated that the allegations of “40 decapitated babies” and a “mass rave rape” were a “hoax” and that “[t]his is tiresome at this point.”

The post understandably drew significant controversy on and off campus. On Nov 7, more than 30 Jewish psychologists and doctoral students, many of them alumni, sent a letter to Queens College President Frank Wu demanding that QCMSA delete its Instagram posts.

The next day, Wu released a statement, calling the posts “contrary to [Queens College’s] community values” and stated that the college “will not hesitate to denounce what is so deeply hurtful, offensive, and damaging.” Wu also stated that “[w]e have contacted and will continue to cooperate with the NYPD regarding these incidents.”

Wu’s statement led to further backlash on campus, with QCMSA and pro-Palestinian students alleging that they felt targeted. One student noted that “[t]he school has never said anything to protect us or done anything to stop this despicable behavior. We got an email to suppress what we are saying — we have never seen an email that said anything about Islamophobia.”