Friday, January 23, 2009

‘Right wing’ author banned from the LSE

Douglas Murray – director of the Centre for Social Cohesion and one of the most reasonable and knowledgeable journalists and commentators of the right – has been banned from chairing a debate at the London School of Economics, entitled ‘Islam or Liberalism: Which is the Way Forward?’

Please note he was chairing; not speaking.

Apparently, he poses a security risk. His mere presence could provoke unrest.

You see, LSE students have just ended a week-long siege in protest at Israel's attacks on Gaza, and they have already decided the way forward, so there is nothing to debate and no discussion to be had – except on their terms.

The debate between Dr Alan Sked and Hamza Andreas Tzortzis will go ahead as planned, but the chairman shall not be Mr Murray.

And there was Cranmer thinking that education was built on the Enlightenment narrative necessitating rational discourse, and that it was the role of the universities to challenge perceptions; to turn the eyes of their students to the light in order that they may see for themselves.

Instead, we have education through intimidation; a myopic syllabus formulated by terror. Violent protesters now dictate which debates may take place: the Islamists and critics of Israel seek to silence rational discussion and thereby compromise students’ education. This is a censorship born of intimidation. It has no place in a liberal democracy.

The LSE’s capitulation sets a profoundly concerning precedent. Will British universities now only employ lecturers who accord with the fore-ordained political worldview of the Left, for fear of ‘provoking unrest’?


Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's finally happening. This is what every decent Christian Briton has been fearing.

Britain is run by Islam Extremists. As a devout Christian, I am furious at the power we have given them!

23 January 2009 at 12:11  
Blogger Chris said...

Is this a gradualist extension of the existing "no platform for the extreme right" policy adhered to by many of the Student Unions in the country, or just another instance of intellectual cowardice from the fellow travelers at the LSE?

23 January 2009 at 12:33  
Anonymous Shaven-headed tattooed knuckledragger said...

Anonymous 12:11

The solution to the problem is entirely in your own hands next time you vote.

23 January 2009 at 12:34  
Anonymous Mark Brentano said...

"This is a censorship born of intimidation. It has no place in a liberal democracy". How right you are. Personally, I live in the UK but, should I ever find myself in a liberal democracy instead of a quasi-theocratic caliphate-in-waiting, I wouldn't expect to find the censorship of which you write.

23 January 2009 at 13:12  
Blogger Wrinkled Weasel said...

"And there was Cranmer thinking that education was built on the Enlightenment narrative necessitating rational discourse, and that it was the role of the universities to challenge perceptions; to turn the eyes of their students to the light in order that they may see for themselves."

Your Grace, when did you go up to Cambridge? 1503?

23 January 2009 at 13:52  
Anonymous James Hamilton said...

I can only imagine that LSE ignorance of who Alan Sked is can have saved his invitation from a similar about-turn.

Really: my own views differ profoundly from those of both men, but this behaviour from the LSE is both sinister and childish.

23 January 2009 at 13:58  
Blogger Rubati said...

Good one Wrinked Weasel! A double pun. It really cracked me up

23 January 2009 at 14:22  
Anonymous Dr. Irene Lancaster said...

Shades of what happened to Dr. Matthias Kuentzel at Leeds University.

23 January 2009 at 14:29  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jame I don't quite get your point even as sarcasm Dr Sked is a lecturer at LSE!

23 January 2009 at 14:39  
Blogger Earthlet Nigel said...

I was a part time contract lecturer squeezed out of the system because I would not revise history to meet politically correct guidelines, nor would I apologise for that which happened years ago before I and many others today were born.

Slavery, tough, it happened, wasn't nice for those on the receiving end. And let's not forget it's been 200 years now since slavery was abolished, well that's a load of selective bollox, because in the colonies slavery persisted until 1833 and on one BWI island it was 1854 before the last vestiges of slavery were eradicated. And Britain continued to profit from it, but hey 200 years looks better than 150. So that's us more or less in the clear then, but slavery in various forms still persists to this day.

23 January 2009 at 14:47  
Anonymous Jim C said...

Does this mean that the LSE will be churning out radical islamic shariah-law economists or just plain Guardian types like Will Hutton?

23 January 2009 at 14:57  
Anonymous Shaven-headed tattooed knuckledragger said...

'Enlightenment narrative necessitating rational discourse'

Islam is a predatory supremacist criminal conspiracy. You can no more reason with these Paedophilic Death-cultists than you can with the Mafia, with whom they share many similarities.

23 January 2009 at 15:27  
Blogger Dave H said...

"today we celebrate one of the great days in the history of Islam and Great Britain."

(Keith Vaz, addressing a crowd protesting against the Satanic Verses)

That was not the moment the rot set in, rather it was the moment that the damage became visible. It is far more advanced today (ironically rather like the indelibly corrupt Mr Vaz).

Your Grace, with this post you support those who criticise Islam. Pseudonymity is certainly justfied! Have a peek at this:

23 January 2009 at 15:49  
Anonymous Nelson said...

Your Grace.
As the Communist governments of the world slowly implode, the fallacy of Government by the people, for the people is exposed, it seems that the only halfwits to still support it are the morons at the LSE, who have obviously never lived under Communism or studied it. This is evident by the fact that they are able to obtain a University education rather than working in industrial sweatshops or picking cabbages in fields for the 'peoples Republic'.

23 January 2009 at 15:51  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Most of these comments are ridiculous. If you actually read the article rather than just absorbing the sensationalist bias you will see that the sole reason for this prohibition is security: not restriction of free speech.
The school is clearly just protecting the safety of the public attending the debate - protecting them from backlash against a controversial journalist who attracts highly polarised opinion: and as a chair is not a necessity because his absence would not deprive the audience of academic opinion/ debate.

23 January 2009 at 16:41  
OpenID jobtwenteewun1to3 said...

Yet more gratuitous dhimmitude. It really is depressing.

23 January 2009 at 17:07  
Anonymous not a machine said...

it seems to be similar to geet wilders problem , looks like good old stifle debate ,divide and rule socialism to me .

they wont learn will they!!

now its official we are broke and in recession , its like watching a delusion slowly turning into a radical fight back .

well done labour , youve finally gone and done it , jackpot!! or should that be crackpot

23 January 2009 at 19:14  
Blogger RonB said...

Anon 16:41


Who are the Public in fear of?

23 January 2009 at 19:44  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

this story is just not true, murray himself offered to withdraw from chairing the event when he was told about the atmosphere on the lse campus following the occupation of a room by some students protesting about the situation in gaza for a week, which has strained relations between israeli and muslim students. murray was never told he had to stand down.

murray has spoken at lse twice in the past 6 months, so to say he is banned is just madness and not true.

when lse became aware today that murray was saying he did not want to stand down as chair the academic organiser tried to contact him, but funnily enough he was unavailable all afternoon (despite telling some press he was still free). murray responded late in the day saying he needed more notice, which was a handy way to get out of it, having got the publicity he wanted!

seems to me he used this situation to get some publicity, and he has certainly been successful. also amazing to me how people in the press dont check the facts before publishing stories!

23 January 2009 at 19:58  
Anonymous oiznop said...

From what I can see, The Evening Standard reported Murray's own words. That's primary source material for that journalist!

23 January 2009 at 21:12  
Anonymous Alf Tupper said...

Anon 16:41

The 'sole reason' is not nearly as important as the resultant feelings on the part of those involved and other observers, that free speech has without question been constrained in the interests of one party.

23 January 2009 at 21:37  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

How can free speech have been impeded when he was chairing the event and therefore should not be expressing views either way, also the event itself went ahead so the subject was debated.

If you look at who has spoken at LSE the accusation that they restrict free speech from those on the right of politics is shown up as simply inaccurate. I see senior members of the Bush administration such including several cabinet members have been there in the past couple of years, including one of the most right wing supreme court justices, and also former deputy defence secretary john bolton, and of course Douglas Murray has spoken there twice in the past few months.

23 January 2009 at 21:45  
Blogger it's either banned or compulsory said...

"Apparently, he poses a security risk."
LSE has form on this, they used the same excuse a few years ago in a similar case. I can't remember the details and have no time to look it up.
I recall that national outrage in the press dealt with it satisfacorily.

24 January 2009 at 05:29  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anon 19:58 is wrong.

Murray did not offer to withdraw. Alex Singleton at The Telegaraph has the email from the LSE sent to Douglas Murray uninviting him.

24 January 2009 at 08:08  
Anonymous Is it time now to wake up said...

The Popes aid has said 'attempts to Islamify Western Europe cannot be denied'

Two MEP's have both admitted that Islam is to be allowed to become the dominant religion stating, 'we should be nice to muslims so that when they become the Majority, they will be nice to us'

Islam is the perfect accompanyment for the EU Police state don't you think.

How much evidence do people need before they will realise what the Establishment is doing.

Napoleon's vision of a United Europe's constitution based on the Koran and Hitler's admiration for Islam.

Napoleon stated, "I hope the time is not far off when I shall be able to unite all the wise and educated men of all the countries and establish a uniform

regime based on the principles of Qur'an which alone are true and which alone can lead men to happiness."
Remember that Napoleon was the architect of the United States of Europe.
Hitler also tried to unify Europe and was a great admirer of Islam, "The Mohammedan religion too would have been much more compatible to us than

Christianity. Why did it have to be Christianity with its meekness and flabbiness….”5 (A. Speer, Inside the Third Reich, pp. 142-143) "

24 January 2009 at 11:55  
Anonymous Rob Farrington said...

I totally agree, except for the part about setting a precedent.

That precedent has already been set for a long time now, and the LSE is merely following it.

24 January 2009 at 13:04  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi, I am an Israeli student at LSE, and was very worried when I heard about this story yesterday afternoon so I went to the debate last night which I think most of those who are commenting on this blog did not. Having attended what was a fairly interesting debate its clear to me the LSE was right to think that Mr Murray would not have been a suitable chairperson. The issue being debated was whether Islam or Liberalism was best placed to solve societies problems, which in itself is a sensitive topic. I think we all know where Mr Murray would stand on this question, so for me while I would find myself agreeing with much of what Mr Murray says I think LSE were right to have concerns about him chairing the event. Most sensible people I think would agree that its best to have someone in the chair who is viewed as an honest broker especially for sensitive or controversial topics. Douglas Murray would have been a great speaker on the topic, but a totally unsuitable chair, it would have been like asking the Pope to chair a debate on the issue of homosexuality. I think people who come to such quick conclusions on this matter need to give some consideration for the unfortunate atmosphere on the LSE campus between certains groups of students after the recent activity in the middle east and the occupation of campus. I believe the School has a responsibility to consider these things for the good of campus relations.

For those criticising LSE there needs to be an acknowledgement that the debate went ahead, with the proposed speakers (remember Murray was meant to be the chair, not a speaker). This included Alan Sked who put forward views which were very similar to those which Mr Murray would put forward, so the allegation there was some threat to free speech is totally false. Its also worth noting that Mr Murray has spoken at LSE twice in the past 6 months, including at an event hosted by the Israeli Society that I attended where I very much agreed with much of what he said.

I also spoke to people after the event and heard that as far the School authories were aware Mr Murray had offered to stand down as chair of the event. When they became aware yesterday morning via the papers that he was not happy with standing down the organiser tried to contact Mr Murray in the afternoon and make it clear he could chair the event. I understand that Murray appeared to make himself unavailable all afternoon to approaches from LSE till shortly before the event when he said he did not have time.

The whole affair seems to have been a bit messy, but from what I was told and have seen it seems LSE was acting with the best of intentions, rather than trying to crack down to free speech or cave into pressure from Islamic fanatics. A lot of the speakers who come to LSE are left wing, and pro palestinian, but there have been a good number in recent months who take a very pro Israeli stance and who may described as neo cons such as former US senator Rick Santorum, US Attorney General Michael Mukasey, Homeland Secretary Chertoff and John Bolton to name a handful (and of course Murray himself on two occasions). I think this clearly demonstrates the claims made on this blog that in some way LSE does not try to uphold the principle of free speech are clearly false. I think a little perspective is needed on this matter!


24 January 2009 at 17:51  
Anonymous Voyager said...

Why not cancel the debate ? Clearly rational discourse is not possible at LSE - and on historical grounds - never was. It has too many foreign students nowadays and is in no way apart from geographical location "British" in culture, values, or outlook.

To hold any such debate is to invite the thuggery associated with contries from which the current student body is drawn

25 January 2009 at 08:45  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Re Voyager's comment that LSE has too many foreign students.

Are you a member of the BNP Voyager?

What a disgraceful comment! You should be ashamed.

25 January 2009 at 10:47  
Blogger John Omani said...

The 'Anonymous' posting here is the same individual using the pseudonyms Martin/Patrick at the Telegraph website - the posts are absolutely identical. These accounts were all very recently created, which suggest an LSE stooge attempting some damage limitation, or one of those agitating for censorship of Mr Murray.

The claims of this creature are false and should be ignored. Best to read Alex Singleton's response:

Dear Martin [Patrick],

I think you should check your facts before making such accusations. I have the email sent to Douglas Murray disinviting him. It shows that your claim that Mr Murray "himself offered to withdraw from chairing the event when he was told about the atmosphere on the lse campus" is not correct.

As for your accusation that it is "also amazing to me how people in the press dont check the facts before publishing stories", in fact, I rang the LSE and Prof. Hartley to ask for their side of the story. Prof. Hartley was unwilling to speak to me.

I spoke to the "the academic organiser" and it was clear, again, from that conversation that Douglas Murray had been disinvited by Prof. Hartley.

I had difficulty getting through to Douglas Murray on the telephone post-5:30pm, but I experienced no difficulty getting straight through to him during office hours.

I was phoned at about 5:30pm by the LSE press office to say that they were willing to reinvite him, and this was followed up at 5:35pm with an emailed statement to that effect. I am amazed that they left it so late.

25 January 2009 at 12:47  
Blogger adrian said...

Obviously Disinformation rules, there should have been no questiona as to whether he should have been allowed to take part or chair the meeting.

25 January 2009 at 16:17  
Anonymous NimbleHippo said...

"Will British universities now only employ lecturers who accord with the fore-ordained political worldview of the Left, for fear of ‘provoking unrest’?"
Cranmer - its clearly a while since you were at university! I had a Sociology tutor comment on my Essay "Do you write for the daily mail at weekends" after a comment on how the traditional nuclear family gave better life chances to kids - This was no rubbish poly either, it was Bristol University

25 January 2009 at 16:30  
Anonymous Voyager said...

Are you a member of the BNP Voyager?

What a disgraceful comment! You should be ashamed.

No I am not a member of the BNP nor of any political party to answer your question Anonymous Polemicist.

LSE is not a British institution but one that is alien to its original purpose


The LSE is one of the most vibrant and diverse universities in the world, with an excellent reputation for research and a long history of producing outstanding contributors to society as a whole. Yet it seems that unethical policies, lax educational standards and poor services are letting it down. It does not seem too unreasonable to ask that the school begins to prioritise the reason for its existence: its students

LSE is a Limited Company (Ltd) pursuing profit-maximising objectives by packing in Non-EU Students so it can generate profit and denying places to UK nationals. It is unclear what purpose LSE serves - it certainly is way adrift of Sidney and Beatrice Webb

If criticising such policies makes someone a member of the BNP it is clearly on the way to being a successful political party full of intelligent and analytical minds instead of the drones that inhabit the world alongside Anonymous posting inane and childish comments

25 January 2009 at 17:33  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think Murray is a drama queen-whatever the circumstances behind this debacle, he has never been 'banned' by LSE; the subsequent attempt to smear LSE,in the crudest possible fashion, on the basis of this single, overblown incident, is childish and spiteful. The School continues to be a centre of debate, attracting speakers of all persuasions, from the Chairman of the US Federal Reserve to Jonah Goldberg and the leader of our own Conservative Party.

This is a difficult time for those of us who value freedom of speech, and yes there is a problem in Europe with a repressive brand of Islamic, but to combat it we need informed debate, not silly tabloid style denigration.

30 January 2009 at 18:20  

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