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‘No probable cause’: Black Muslim’s knife allegation against Jewish roommate falls apart

Roommate told police ‘she did not witness any threats or open hostility’

The University of Washington closed its investigation into a Jewish student who allegedly threatened her black Muslim roommate with a knife.

Both UW police and the Residential Life Conduct Office did not move forward with any sanctions against the Jewish student, according to police reports recently obtained by The College Fix via a public records request.

The Muslim student who made the allegations, Isha Hussein, says the university did not take her concerns seriously. Additionally, she appears to have publicized the allegations against her former roommate around the same time she was launching an unsuccessful bid for the student government.

However, the university did not move forward with the investigation after the initial complaint for a simple reason – Hussein asked them not to.

“The student who was allegedly threatened was interviewed by UW police and declined to assist with any potential prosecution, instead requesting only that the allegation be documented — which it was,” university spokesperson Victor Balta told The Fix on July 9.

“As noted in the report, the case was reopened in March to include an additional statement that was eventually provided and to conduct additional interviews with witnesses,” Balta said via email. “It was closed after no probable cause could be determined.”

The police report redacted the names, but the allegations match those made by Hussein.

She did not respond to a July 5 Instagram message that asked for next steps and why she thought the investigation had been closed. The Fix is unable to send a second message because Hussein did not respond to the first.

The Fix also contacted The People’s Ticket, Hussein’s student government party, for comment and help getting in touch with her. The group did not respond to a July 5 or 8 Instagram message.

Hussein told police that her roommate “stated to her that that she and her family did not like black people or Muslims and they are suicide bombers,” according to law enforcement’s summary. Hussein made the allegations during an October 24, 2023 interview, but said problems started on Oct. 9.

The police reported that Hussein, the Jewish roommate, and a third person (likely another roommate) were discussing plans for the day. An upcoming event about the Israel Defense Forces came up, and Hussein said she opposed the country.

Hussein claims her roommate “said to her that she would pull a knife on [Hussein] while praying,” according to the police summary.

The Jewish roommate then allegedly pulled a knife out from the kitchen while a third person began “laughing.”

Hussein “stated that she is not willing to assist with prosecution at this time and she is only requesting that this incident be documented.”

But subsequent interviews also led the university to dismiss the allegations. During a March 2024 interview, an unnamed person interviewed, presumably one of the roommates, said “she did not witness any threats or open hostility,” according to the police report.

The Somali Student Association hosted a “Justice for Isha Hussein” rally in March.

The group did not respond to an email on July 5 asking for comment on the situation and assistance getting in touch with Hussein.

‘I was thrown out of campus housing with no due process based entirely on a false accusation’

The unnamed Jewish student had to leave her dorm due to the allegations, which the university determined were unfounded.

“Based on a review of the information gathered, I have not determined you committed a violation,” Amanda Roy with the Residential Life Conduct & Office told the student on Oct. 24. However, between Oct. 13 and that day the Jewish student had to leave the dorm. She later moved out due to the hostility, even after being cleared.

The student made her own “victim statement” where she said she was “thrown out of my campus housing with no due process based entirely on a false accusation.”

In her version, the Jewish student says there was conflict around October 7, due to the attack on Israel. The student has family in the country, according to her statement to police. The two argued over Palestine and Israel but then largely avoided each other for the following days. On October 12, the university contacted the Jewish student over claims she “threatened” Hussein.

“To my knowledge, there were no repercussions [toward Hussein] for making false and defamatory claims against me which resulted in my temporary loss of housing and permanent need to relocate,” she told police.

The allegations, she said, “caused considerable stress and strain on my academic schedule and emotional wellbeing.”

The Jewish student said things were better when she moved out of the dorm, but problems began again when Hussein made social media posts reiterating the allegations. Other social media users picked up Hussein’s claims and circulated them.

The post did not explicitly name the Jewish roommate.

“While not identifying me directly, the simple fear of my name being attached to the story was building rapidly,” she said.

“I knew we were looking at a situation that would become much more serious and dangerous with time,” she said.

The allegations came at the same time Hussein was launching a campaign for student government that would eventually be unsuccessful.

A February 25 Instagram post currently has more than 43,000 “likes,” and reiterates the accusation. She also added further allegations against her other two roommates – that one assaulted her on Nov. 3 and that another one “threatened to bring our old roommate [the Jewish student] back to stab me.”

Balta, the university spokesperson, did not respond to an email on Wednesday that asked if there was any information on the alleged Nov. 3 assault.

She also said the Jewish roommate had made a Facebook page made by the Jewish student, allegedly about the incident. The former roommate told police she has never used Facebook.

Hussein also said residential life told her a student could not be forced to leave a dorm. However, that is what happened, since the other roommate had already been removed.

On March 5, she announced her run for student government president on “The People’s Ticket.”

But her story drew concerns from the student newspaper The Daily.

The newspaper said Hussein “declined to provide documentation necessary for The Daily to internally verify parts of her story,” despite promising a copy of the police report and communications with the university.

The university could not provide a police report to the paper at the time because the investigation had been reopened.

Two days after the Feb. 28 interview with the newspaper, Hussein asked to retract it.

The paper’s subhead summarized the problems the campus newspaper faced – “Questions remain, relevant documents for now inaccessible, reporting stalled.”

The Washington chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations told The Fix on Tuesday it would provide comments on the situation but has yet to give any further responses.

MORE: There were 12 campus hate hoaxes this school year

IMAGES: University of Washington Police; The People’s Ticket/Instagram

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About the Author
Associate Editor
Matt has previously worked at Students for Life of America, Students for Life Action and Turning Point USA. While in college, he wrote for The College Fix as well as his college newspaper, The Loyola Phoenix. He holds a B.A. from Loyola University-Chicago and an M.A. from the University of Nebraska-Omaha. He lives in northwest Indiana with his family.