Written by Student Rights on 26 January 2011 at 5pm

UCL Professor endorsing terrorism?

...and what does this say about UCL's claims that 'conditions on campus were not conducive to radicalisation' while Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab was studying there?

Prof. Ted Honderich, Philosophy lecturer at the University College London is being scrutinized for his recent claims that, "...the Palestinians have a moral right to their terrorism" and that "Terrorism, as in this case, can as exactly be self-defence, a freedom struggle, martyrdom, the conclusion of an argument based on true humanity, etc."

The awkwardly phrased letter appears in today's Guardian newspaper as a response to previous correspondence on the subject of Israel and the Palestinian territories. Under no circumstances is there a justification to kill innocent civilians - men, women and children who play no active role in any ongoing grievance from Hamas or Hizballah

The definition of terrorism in this respect is clear and widely understood.  Based on this, the gravest of questions must be asked about this academic's views - expressedly via the University College London website and leveraging Prof. Honderich's status as a staff member there. 

Does UCL wish to be associated with individuals who advocate the use of unauthorised violence and/or intimidation upon innocent civilians?  Would it tolerate such views if the were directed towards attacks on British soil, against British citizens? Many of Prof. Honderich's views are hosted on the University College London website and may therefore be perceived as views of the institution. 

Certainly endorsing or attempting to justify terrorism, morally or as an act of self-defence is an extreme position which would not stand up to defence considering incitement and glorification of terror laws. Student Rights will be contacting the university authorities to investigate this matter...