Friday, 11 May 2007

Bath University stifles free speech

A while back, Nick Griffin, leader of the BNP, was invited to speak at Bath University. Now, following protests from the usual bunch of trade unionists, students' union hacks, extreme leftists, and assorted other soap-dodgers, the event has been cancelled by the university:
In a statement [the university's vice-chancellor and secretary] said they had taken into account the views of staff and students about the meeting and the university's belief in freedom of speech.

They said: "In addition, some staff and students have registered with us their serious concerns for their safety if this event proceeds, as well as fears of disruption to examinations given the likely scale of protests on the day.

"These considerations do need to be balanced against the need to hear and challenge a variety of opinions in an institution committed to high quality learning and research. Freedom of speech is a principle to be highly cherished by academic institutions.

"The university has, however, now learned that a very large number of protesters intend to arrive on campus. This creates the likelihood of substantial public order problems and real possibility of disruption of the essential activities of the university community, making it impractical for the university to allow the event to go ahead."

What we have here is yet another example of the power that the far-left wields in our universities, and which they use to stifle the free speech of all who oppose them, often in alliance with Muslims. The Cambridge Motoons case would be an obviously comparable case, as would that of the German academic Dr Matthias Kuentzel, banned from giving a lecture at Leeds University after Muslim students threatened to get violent. The hounding of Dr Frank Ellis from his job, also at Leeds, was a particularly revolting instance of leftist opposition to free speech, although the fascists have thankfully failed in their machinations against Oxford's Professor David Coleman.

In at least two of the above cases, the left-Islamic axis used the threat of violence in order to get their way. It appears from Bath University's statement that fears of violence from the anti-Griffin demonstrators influenced their decision to cancel the event. One assumes that they had realistic grounds for their fears.

The deeply disturbing willingness of the left and of Muslims to use force to silence opposition is not a peculiarly British phenomenon. American universities have had similar problems, and talks from anti-Jihadi commentators are often greeted with
violent protests, or cancelled outright through fear of violence. Jewish student groups suffer regular intimidation from Muslims and far-leftists.

What is also disturbing is the sheer hypocrisy shown. People like Mr Griffin, or Dr Kuentzel, are banned from speaking at universities, because their views are non-PC. And yet at the same time George Galloway can speak freely (warning: offensive link) in whatever institution he wishes. And as for the kind of people that Muslim student groups routinely let in: well, suffice it to say that Yusuf Islam (formerly Cat Stevens) a known terrorist supporter, is a favourite of university Islamic societies.

Bath University's decision is to be regretted, but it is not surprising. Sadly, unscrupulous elements have learnt that those who shout the loudest are often listened to, particularly if the unspoken threat of violence is left hanging in the air. This appears to be what has happened here. And it will happen at some other august institution of learning before long.

Hat-tip: The Green Arrow

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