Written by Student Rights on 19 January 2011 at 3pm

Queen Mary offer farcical statement on 'freedom of speech'

usamahAll too often, university authorities hide behind the word 'freedom' which has been twisted against the very democratic and liberal society it seeks to uphold.

Today, Queen Mary, University of London (QMUL) produced a statement excusing Abu Usamah ath-Thahabi for his previous actions, disregarding the danger he poses.  Freedom of speech is a cornerstone of democracy, but freedom of hate speech is not. 

The previous incitement to violence, intolerance and extremism should render Abu Usamah blacklisted from student and taxpayer funded universities.  Instead, those within the ivory towers of Queen Mary and the like have decided that your record does not matter.  You should be afforded freedom of speech unconditionally.

Presumably, QMUL authorities would be happy to host an EDL or BNP rally, provided nothing egregious was said at that specific event?  By the logic employed, QMUL would be happy to host all kinds of despots are tyrants, provided they didn't say anything too extreme while actually on campus. A dangerous and frightening precedent is being set here. 

By QMUL logic, atrocious dictators like Robert Mugabe could accept invitations to speak on campuses across the country. 

Here's the statement from Queen Mary, University of London:

19 January 2011 Statement regarding Abu Usaamah Ath-Thahabi As a university we have a fundamental commitment to freedom of expression within the law. Our adherence to this commitment may be tested by the acceptance of speakers on campus whose views we might individually regard as extreme, distasteful, or fundamentally repugnant. By allowing the expression of a diversity of views on our campuses, we believe that students will then be able to make informed and discriminating decisions.

Queen Mary, University of London

Student Rights are pleased to award Queen Mary, University of London a First Class Degree in 'Nonsense':