Saturday, 12 February 2011

Free speech snubbed at University

Ishmael Khaldi
A guest lecturer at Edinburgh University was interrupted and prevented from speaking on Wednesday when demonstrators barged on to the stage at the Appleton Tower.   

Ishmael Khaldi, who is of Bedouin origin, and is a senior aide to the Israeli foreign ministry, had been invited to give a lecture.  About forty demonstrators supporting a pro-Palestinian group physically prevented the lecture from going ahead.

In Egypt the trend this week seems to be from dictatorship towards free speech and democracy.  In Edinburgh University, some would have us move from free speech and democracy to intimidation and bullying.

More details here.

8 comments:

Ben Acel said...

I've just read this from the examiner. Righthaven now is the biggest threat to free speech and the 1st amendment of the US Constitution. They get people to circulate images onto blogs that speak their minds across the country then they get the copyright on the content they on purposely shared then they sue them for copyright infringement and attempt to seize free speech advocates domains. Also there's political ties to Righthaven if you dom a lot of research.

Righthaven is attacking peoples Free Speech

http://www.examiner.com/conservative-in-san-francisco/bloggers-beware-of-righthaven-llc-federal-courts-used-to-shut-down-blogs

Also check this link out as well as it gives good details about the lawsuit:

http://www.p2pnet.net/story/48660

You need to get the word out on your blog that free speech is in danger because of Righthaven using Federal Courts to seize domains away from fair use and free speech bloggers.

Cameron Rose said...

Ben,
You need to read my short post and the links. You are o/t for this blog.

elettaria said...

I encountered the Palestine Solidarity Campaign about ten years ago when I was an undergraduate. A group of us from the Edinburgh University Jewish Society had come along to a PSC debate in order to show our support. Once the debate hosts realised that we were Jewish, they shouted abuse at us until we were forced to leave.

Any attempts at calm discussion were shouted down. For example, one postgraduate student queries the PSC's use of the term "genocide" and gave a correct definition of the word. He was told, "That's just your definition," even though he pointed out that he was doing a PhD in war crimes and gave references for his terminology.

Another member of the Jewish society asked a question, and felt so intimidated that he anglicised his name. He doesn't appear obviously Israeli, but once he mentioned this, the PSC leaders shouted, "You can't speak, you're from a racist country," and we were all so frightened by the level of verbal abuse and the threatening attitude that we left the room.

Sadly, I've encountered this attitude many times in Edinburgh. If you mention that you are Jewish or that you have family in Israel, there are often people who will immediately become verbally abusive. Their erroneous assumption that anyone Jewish wishes to oppress Palestinians is the least of it; I've been accused of a number of unpleasant things, and eventually stopped mentioning my links with Israel out of a fear for my safety.

Cameron Rose said...

Elatteria,

Thank you for sharing. We are too tolerant of the intolerant!

elettaria said...

Which is a nice slogan, but it's rather trickier to do anything about it. I don't want to stifle free speech either.

Somewhat oddly, the two main points of racism I've seen in the UK are anti-Israel sentiment (egged on by the media, and which may or may not spill over into general anti-Semitism) and anti-Muslim sentiment directed specifically at UK Muslims.

Cameron Rose said...

elettaria,
Thanks for your comments. The comments and experience you recount don't often get an airing.

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