Academics are threatening to derail a Government drive to root out Islamic extremists on university campuses.
The University and College Union, will ask its 120,000 members to refuse to take part in the Government-led "witch hunt".
It insists that Muslims are being "demonised" because of new guidance that asks staff to look out for students falling under the influence of radical preachers.
The Department for Education and Skills has warned university staff to log suspicious behaviour amid fears that campuses are being infiltrated by fanatics recruiting for so-called jihad. In a 20-page report published in December, ministers warned of "serious, but not widespread, Islamic extremist activity in higher education institutions".
It asks lecturers to vet Islamic preachers who have been invited to campuses, ensure that "hate literature" is not distributed among students and report suspicious behaviour to police.
So, in essence, academics are supposed to be vigilant in an age when vigilance is required, they are supposed to pay particular attention to a group whose members have shown something of a proclivity for violence, and they are supposed to do their best to stop books like the Protocols of the Elders of Zion being distributed. Seems like common sense to me.
But at the UCU annual conference in Bournemouth, lecturers will warn of a "recent rise" in racism and its "apparent promotion by Government policies".
Do they have any evidence to back up their claims?
Academics at the union's London Metropolitan University branch will say that "increasingly restrictive measures and the xenophobic language surrounding them" has led to an increase in racist attacks on Muslims.
It would behove academics at London Met to be particularly vigilant. After all, one of the would-be bombers arrested in the big raids last August was the president of the London Met Islamic Society. Not many universities can claim to have had a practising terrorist on their student roll.
It is sickening that these lecturers refuse to play any part in fighting against terrorism. If their professed concerns about civil liberties and witch hunts were genuine, then that might somewhat reduce the disgust with which I regard them. But those concerns are not the real reason these academics object. Rather, they, or at least, a large number of them, object to helping fight terrorism because they are on the terrorists' side. We've seen, in their boycotts of the Middle East's only democracy, how they are willing to throw their weight behind Islamist murderers, and we are seeing the same thing here. Many of these pampered leftist professors, luxuriating in their Ivory Towers at taxpayers' expense, actually want us to lose: they want to see Western civilisation destroyed by Islam.
Also frustrating, and further evidence of their true thoughts, is the utter hypocrisy of their professed concerns for "civil liberties" and worries about "witch hunts". For the benefit of any academics reading this:
Keeping an eye out for people who might commit terrorist acts, and focussing on the group most likely to commit such acts, is not a witch hunt.By contrast:
Threatening people with expulsion for publishing cartoons in a student newspaper is a witch hunt.All of these events have taken place in leading British universities recently, either with the active participation or the tacit endorsement of those same academics who are now protesting so very loudly. As for civil liberties in general, the academics might like to consider the following cases in which they have been restricted:
Hounding academics from their jobs for expressing politically-incorrect views, or attempting to do so, is a witch hunt.
Subjecting Jewish students to anti-Semitic intimidation on a routine basis is a witch hunt.
The bans on Nick Griffin and Dr Kuentzel from speaking at the respective universities of Bath and Leeds.Again, these instances of the suppression of the freedoms of speech and association were either actively or tacitly encouraged by academics. I guess that "witch hunts" are only bad when directed against people the academics like. A category which apparently includes Islamic terrorists.
The prohibitions imposed on Christian Unions.