April 02, 2007

Some Facts about Leeds University

About two weeks ago, the lecture of the German political scientist Matthias Küntzel (picture) scheduled at Leeds University was cancelled.

The as usually well-informed and level-headed Melanie Phillips informs us at her blog and she -- chapeau -- even gets his name right, Umlaut and all :
… A non-Jewish German academic, Dr Matthias Küntzel, was shocked when his planned lecture, ‘Hitler’s Legacy: Islamic Antisemitism in the Middle East’, was abruptly cancelled by the university along with two smaller scheduled seminars.

The university insisted its decision had nothing to do with freedom of speech; nor was it bowing to threats or protests from interest groups. The meeting had been cancelled on safety grounds alone, and because ‘contrary to our rules, no assessment of risk to people or property has been carried out, no stewarding arrangements are in place and we were not given sufficient notice to ensure safety and public order.’

But there was no security risk. No threats had been received. The only ripple was a couple of protests from Muslim students, who claimed the lectures would increase hatred and threaten their ‘security and well-being’ on campus. The university’s excuse was absurd.
Now, fresh information has reached me which reinforces the view that the cancellation was indeed designed to suppress Küntzel’s views. After meeting the university authorities the head of the German department, Professor Stuart Taberner, told his staff that, although he didn’t think censorship was the issue, if Küntzel were to be re-invited the university would have to ‘look closely’ at the subject of his talk.

‘Having now found the text of what I take to be his talk on the web,’ he said, ‘I’m convinced that the university would want to be reassured that it was striking the correct balance between free speech — the expression of ideas — and its obligation to be mindful of the language in which these ideas are framed’.

The real reason for the cancellation was thus laid bare. It was because of what Küntzel was saying… Indeed, Küntzel sees a seamless connection between Nazism and the jihad against the west. Hitler, he says, fantasised about the toppling of the skyscrapers of New York, the symbol of Jewish power. And the Hamburg trial of terrorists associated with 9/11 heard evidence that New York had been selected for the atrocity because it was a ‘Jewish city’.
The result is that Leeds has now joined the growing list of universities which have spinelessly given up the defence of free speech, and thus, in the great battle for civilisation against barbarism, run up the campus white flag.
So far, so bad. What amazes me, however, is that nobody took the trouble to look at background and infrastructure of Leeds University, which would have clarified that Leeds is far more than just another spineless university.

Well, maybe the following is obvious to residents of the UK, so take this brief information to be for non-UK readers: Leeds, together with its neighbouring city Bradford, is the Islamic heartland of the north, infamous for localised sharia law, home of some of the London Tube bombers, religious riots, segregated schools and other segregation issues.

But back to Leeds University:

In the November Referendum 2004 of the Leeds University Union, two of five motions, number 2 and 5, were about such pressing issues like "Palestinian Students’ Right to Education" (thwarted by – you guessed it – the Jews), proposed by Akram Awad and seconded by Mariam Al-Jaajaa, and "LUU Policy towards PSG [i.e. Palestinian Solidarity Group] and Other Politically Active Societies" proposed by Akram Awad and seconded by (are we amazed?) Mariam Al-Jaajaa. In the latter, the aspiring academics are defining, quite in the spirit of Hermann "Wer Jude ist, bestimme ich" Goering who is a Jew and who isn't. You don't believe me? Read it!

Not too surprisingly, the student voted "most powerful on Leeds University campus" in the "Leeds Student", notabene Britain's biggest weekly student newspaper, is one Hind Hassan (self-description: "British Iraqi, live for the battle"). She writes a near-weekly column for the newspaper, makes frequent appearances on BBC radio Five-Live, BBC Yorkshire and blogs at BBC online.

When this "passionate anti-war Respect [i.e. the party of George "You are totally wrong in saying that in most people’s eyes Hezbollah are terrorists. In most people’s eyes Israel is a terrorist state" Galloway] activist" isn't talking politics, she is writing juvenile (which would be forgivable) and simperingly self-serving (which is not) drivel like "Do you ever remember not having a mobile phone?":
Gone are the days when friends would arrange to meet for lunch at a particular time and place in person or on the old fashioned corded dog and bone . I yearn for those days, but why I hear you all cry out. Why would one, so clearly progressive in all other aspects of society hold such reservations against a harmless lump of plastic?
Have I caught tinnitus or is that Mr. Pulitzer rotating in his grave?

However, class war is never far away from this passionate anti-war activist's mind. Little Miss (excuse me: Ms.!) Equality and Diversity informs us:
The one good use of the cordless portable media phone thingy is throwing it in the direction of that annoying cow who won’t shut up about her pony from daddy dearest.
Well, it clearly wasn't that infantile bilge her skill for social analysis that made her eligible for frequent appearances on BBC radio Five-Live, BBC Yorkshire and blogging at BBC online. Then, what was?

Maybe it's her political savvy. At her website, gems like
Pseudo definition
Middle East.
True definition
A country that continually veto’s resolutions backed by majority of Nations so as to protect their own interests.
A country that jails a man and places him in solitary confinement for exposing the largest Nuclear weapons program in the Middle East.
A country that arrests and tortures innocent humans without charge just because they can
(and so on, I think you get the gist) can be found. I wonder if that swollen-headed little bitch REALLY thinks the Middle East is preferable to the Americanised West or whether she is just being deliberately obnoxious.

I wonder, too, why she is suffering the awful conditions of a Western cesspool when the entire Middle East with all its freedom, respect for human rights, diversity and equality (specifically for women) is open to her and whether she has ever asked herself what might happen to people there who'd out themselves as "lifelong Christians" when she is free to make herself known as what she is in the despised West.

(As an aside: Why the editor wasn't interested in a Christian perspective must have something to do with the fact that in Britain more people are attending mosques than the Church of England and making demands. So he is, after all, only adhering to democratic standards when he does that, or isn't he. That must be the reason, too, why a fledgeling hack as singularly untalented as Little Ms. Social Justice is courted by a medium of the importance of the BBC.)

But there is more to Hind Hassan than her valiant fight against little upper middle class girls with ponies and for the clearing of the name of Middle Eastern dictatorships havens of human rights, racial and gender equality. So it doesn't amaze us all that much that she was instrumental, too, in the ousting of Dr. Frank Ellis. Who is Frank Ellis? Ellis used to be a lecturer at Leeds University. He was thoughtless enough to express his support for the outcome of scientific research done by others, namely the "Bell Curve". The Al Guardian, in an unappetising huff over such an appaling display of such non-politically correct scientific findings, even transcended their usual lopsided reporting to lie outrightly:
Yesterday more than 300 students and staff gathered in Leeds to call for him to be sacked and campaigners said the struggle was picking up momentum at other universities. Hind Hassan, treasurer of Unite Against Fascism at Leeds University, said: “This is a fight that is going to go on and on until we get rid of this man. It has gone beyond an issue of freedom of speech or academic freedom and now directly impinges on the rights of students to live and work in a safe and tolerant environment. How can female students or those from ethnic minorities possibly get a fair educational experience?”
Well, apart from the fact that there is no "right" for students who do not hold a British passport to live and work in a British environment at all, I wonder what "educational experience" women would get in the fatherlands of those ethnic minority students, or why European and US-American students aren't crowding the educational institutions in same countries to get a wonderful alternative educational experience of high-class academic standard, enlightenment and racial equality.
Students from several universities attended the rally. Shaheed Fazal, who travelled from Warwick University, said: “It is completely inappropriate for a lecturer in his position to push these views.”

Pav Aktar, NUS anti-racism organiser, said the campaign was gathering national momentum…
What Ellis really said can be read here.

My take on that? As long as students Hind Hassan, Pav Aktar and Shaheed Fazal can oust lecturer Dr. Frank Ellis, things can't be quite so racially unbalanced as they seem to think they are in Britain.

Or rather: not in the way they think they are.

However disgusted by it, the Al Guardian nevertheless found the case of Frank Ellis useful to discredit another academic presenting other unpopular facts, namely Matthias Küntzel and thus our circle closes.
The University of Leeds this morning hit back at critics accusing it of censorship after it cancelled a public lecture on 'Islamic anti-semitism' due to be delivered by a visiting academic.

The university said it had cancelled the lecture on security grounds and insisted it had nothing to do with "academic freedom, freedom of speech, anti-semitism or Islamophobia."

The university's secretary, Richard Gair, said: "Those that are claiming that is the case are making mischief."
Dr Küntzel is a research associate at the Vidal Sassoon international centre for the study of anti-semitism at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. He had been due last night to deliver a lecture called 'The Nazi legacy: the export of anti-semitism to the Middle East'.
This is the second time in less than a year that Leeds has found itself at the centre of accusations of preventing academic freedom of speech.

Last March, Frank Ellis became the first university lecturer to be suspended under the new Race Relations (Amendment) Act. The decision by Leeds came after he told the university's student newspaper that black people and women were genetically inferior.

Dr Ellis, who worked in the same school of modern languages and cultures which is at the centre of this latest row, took early retirement last summer.

A spokeswoman for the university said the two cases were unrelated and neither were to do with academic freedom of speech. "The Ellis case had nothing to do with freedom of speech, neither does this [latest] case."
No and presumably neither has a comparison of Küntzel with Ellis, who had defended controversial findings outside his own field of research (I am NOT justifying Ellis' ousting, mind you, any further discussion would just go beyond the scope of this blog entry), whereas Küntzel was presenting rock-hard evidence within his very own field of research.

And surely the fact that Küntzel was fussily introduced by the Guardian as a "research associate at the Vidal Sassoon international centre for the study of anti-semitism at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem" whereas the information that he is a German gentile was NOT mentioned is purely accidental as well…

The only fact that is not accidental is the fact that those not graced with minority status at Leeds University are scared shitless.