A human rights campaigner has been barred from speaking at Warwick University after organisers were told she was “highly inflammatory and could incite hatred”.
Maryam Namazie, an Iranian-born campaigner against religious laws, had been invited to speak to the Warwick Atheists, Secularists and Humanists Society next month. But the student union blocked the event, telling the society that Namazie’s appearance could violate its external speaker policy.
“We have a duty of care to conduct a risk assessment for each speaker who wishes to come to campus. There a number of articles written both by the speaker and by others about the speaker that indicate that she is highly inflammatory, and could incite hatred on campus.”
The student union’s policy says external speakers are “not permitted to encourage, glorify or promote any acts of terrorism” or “spread hatred and intolerance in the community” and “must seek to avoid insulting other faiths or groups”.
Namazie said she hoped to go ahead with the event if Warwick changed its mind. “The student union seems to lack an understanding of the difference between criticising religion, an idea or a far-right political movement on the one hand and attacking and inciting hate against people on the other,” she wrote on her blog. “Inciting hatred is what the Islamists do; I and my organisation challenge them and defend the rights of ex-Muslims, Muslims and others to dissent.”
Namazie, who has written for the Guardian, is the spokesperson for One Law for All, a group that campaigns against sharia and religious laws, and a member of the Council of Ex-Muslims of Britain and the Worker-Communist party of Iran.
In 2005 she won the National Secularist Society’s prize for secularist of the year, presented by the Guardian columnist Polly Toynbee.
Some thought-provoking articles that reflect on how the left/liberal agenda has undermined society and commonsense leaving people unable to cope with the real world and which silences free speech and honest debate…
Students are increasingly seeking help for, and apparently having emotional crises over, problems of everyday life. Recent examples mentioned included a student who felt traumatized because her roommate had called her a “bitch” and two students who had sought counseling because they had seen a mouse in their off-campus apartment. The latter two also called the police, who kindly arrived and set a mousetrap for them.
Faculty at the meetings noted that students’ emotional fragility has become a serious problem when in comes to grading. Some said they had grown afraid to give low grades for poor performance, because of the subsequent emotional crises they would have to deal with in their offices.
President Barack Obama on Monday waded into the debate on political correctness saturating American colleges, forcefully rejecting the idea of tailoring curriculum or cutting funding based on the sensitivities of students.
During a town hall in Des Moines, Iowa, Obama described liberal college students—the kind of students who ban speakers from campus due to their political beliefs, at least—as “coddled.”
“I’ve heard of some college campuses where they don’t want to have a guest speaker who is too conservative. Or they don’t want to read a book if it has language that is offensive to African Americans, or somehow sends a demeaning signal towards women,” he said, according to The Hill.
“I’ve got to tell you, I don’t agree with that either. I don’t agree that you, when you become students at colleges, have to be coddled and protected from different points of views.”
In the name of emotional well-being, college students are increasingly demanding protection from words and ideas they don’t like. Here’s why that’s disastrous for education—and mental health.
Something strange is happening at America’s colleges and universities. A movement is arising, undirected and driven largely by students, to scrub campuses clean of words, ideas, and subjects that might cause discomfort or give offense. Last December, Jeannie Suk wrote in an online article for The New Yorker about law students asking her fellow professors at Harvard not to teach rape law—or, in one case, even use the word violate (as in “that violates the law”) lest it cause students distress.
Ladies, gentlemen, people of indeterminate gender.
There are two reasons you should be freaked out by political correctness.
The first is that it prevents people from saying what they want to say, from expressing what they believe to be true. And it is fundamentally illiberal to stop people from expressing their beliefs and their ideas.
And the second is that it prevents the rest of us from hearing those ideas and deciding for ourselves if they are good or bad. It infantilises all of us through denying us the right to weigh things up, to argue over them, to be the arbiters of what is right and what is wrong.
Instead it gives that role to a dictatorship of do-gooders, who decide on our behalf what words and thoughts are fit for public consumption.
On its own terms, political correctness is self-defeating. It drives away potential supporters, and substitutes linguistic change for social change. It replaces the desire to reform society with the desire to reform manners, and fails to understand that practised hypocrites and seasoned manipulators can meet the demand to observe correct form with ease. Indeed, they will welcome political correctness because it gives them new opportunities to intimidate and control…..Spastic too was once a euphemism that became an insult. In 1994, the Spastics’ Society changed its name to ‘Scope’ because children were ‘shouting you big spastic’ at each other in the playground. No good did the substitution do. As current dictionaries of slang report ‘scopey’ is now ‘a byword for spaz’.