By Stephen Pollard
April 16, 2010
Douglas Murray has a truly astonishing tale to tell.
A while ago, he was asked by the UJS to speak on a panel at the NUS conference in Gateshead. Tireless fighter for democracy that he is, he agreed to schlap up and do it.
Then he got a phone call:
The girl from the UJS on the other end of the phone explained that
there had been a change of plan. The UJS had decided that it would be
nice if the panel was done in association with FOSIS. Er, OK, I said.
Though FOSIS are the problem, as you know… Whilst claiming to speak for
Muslim students as a whole they have in fact repeatedly been shown to
at best represent a highly conservative and marginal portion of their
“Yes, we know all this” she said, but anyway, they wanted to go
ahead. And there was still better news. FOSIS had agreed to do the
event with them. But on one condition.
“Oh yes,” I said. Why could I guess what was coming.
“They’ll only do it as long as you don’t speak.”
As he writes:
Of course FOSIS don’t want to debate
with me. They have such a terrible track-record that if I were them I
wouldn’t want to appear against a critic who knew what my organisation
had been up to in recent years either.
But what of the UJS? If the Union of Jewish students wants to take
dictation for their events from the Federation of Student Islamic
Societies, one wonders what they think FOSIS will ever do in return.
Does the favour get reciprocated do we think? Are they going to vet any
speaker that Jewish students don’t like? Or are these students just
going to have to learn the hard way that in this matter, as in so many
others, “tolerance”, “openness” and a respect for free speech are
currently very much a one-way street.
The UJS appear to have taken leave of their senses, disinviting a brave fighter for freedom of speech and Western civilisation on the orders of thevery body which is, as Douglas calls it, "the problem".
What is going on? Read next week's JC to find out.