Columnists > Anti-Semitism must be resisted with every muscle the academic world possesses

17 March 2016 | by Clifford Longley

Anti-Semitism must be resisted with every muscle the academic world possesses


Perhaps this column needs a “trigger warning”, that is to say a warning to the effect that it might make some people uncomfortable. Not making people uncomfortable seems to have become the latest academic fashion.

It is increasingly being used to ban or censor people who challenge an existing progressive consensus, on the grounds that others – and it is mainly students – should not have to experience ideas that might upset them. In this case “progressive” certainly does not mean “liberal” – this philosophy is very illiberal.

Such potential victims are entitled to a “safe space”, it is argued, free from whatever might trigger such unpleasant experiences. A harsher version of the same philosophy labels non-consensual non-progressive ideas as fascist, racist, sexist, homophobic or Islamophobic, and hence proposes to deny them a “platform”, the term for which is “no-platforming”. That means refusing them any forum where they can explain their views.
The banning of anyone who advocates actual physical violence is entirely defensible.


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Comment by: John Odell
Posted: 18/03/2016 08:21:28
If I decry the apartheid policy of Israel enacted against the Palestiniain people, if I criticise the state sponsored theft of Palestinian land and the the oppressive restrictions burdening Palestiniam Christians and Muslims - does that make me anti-semitic?

If I Abhor denial of religioius freedom, oppression of women, honour killings and pesecution of Christians in Muslim countries, does that make me racist?

And if I promote the message of Jesus (may His peace be upon us) that we love each other unequivocally does that make me a bigot?

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