Anger over offensive magazine

By Marcus Dysch, March 26, 2009

Students have written and distributed a magazine littered with antisemitic jokes as part of a charity fundraising initiative.

Rag to the Future was produced by Barts and the London Students’ Association, part of the University of London, for rag week, which began last Friday.

Jokes about circumcision, pork and Jewish wives were among the most offensive material.

Juliet Lewin of Hatch End, north London, complained to the students’ association after reading a copy of the magazine given to her husband by students in central London.

She said: “I had a flick through and could not believe what I was reading. I just went cold.

“When I looked through more pages there was nothing about other cultures or religions that was as nasty. They have to learn [that it is unacceptable], otherwise next year they will have the same stuff and it could be targeting Jewish people or anyone else. This sort of humour is horrendous.”

The magazine committee had appealed for contributions through the association’s website, writing: “It’s that time of the year when we start organising the rag mag!

“For you freshers who have no idea what rag mag is, it’s a magazine full of mostly dirty jokes and lots of awesomeness sold during rag week to the public!”

A University of London spokeswoman said it did not condone the distribution of discriminatory material, and would be contacting those responsible for clarification.

The London Students’ Association apologised, saying: “It would of course be counter-productive if our activities alienated potential donors and we would like to offer our sincere apologies if we have offended or caused distress to anyone.

“We will ensure that the content in question is not included in any future editions of the magazine.”

Last updated: 11:18am, March 26 2009