Cage and Prevent Follow-Up

This is a cross post by Dr Paul Stott from I Intend To Escape ………………….And Come Back

The letter Cage and Prof Richard Jackson were promoting on Wednesday opposing Prevent, has now appeared in the Independent.

It is actually slightly worse that I expected it to be. After some classic academic hierarchy – Professors to the top – some of the worst names in British Islamism appear. To be lectured on freedom of speech and extremism by Haitham al-Haddad is slightly surreal. Interesting al-Haddad appears here wearing his Fatwa Council Of Europe hat, rather than his controversial role of judge at the Islamic Sharia Council in East London. You may recall his views on the superiority of men over women in this Channel 4 discussion, with Fatima Manji. Shakeel Begg of the Islamic Centre in Lewisham has been called many things over the years, but a believer in free speech and critical comment he is not. If these are the people to the fore of a campaign against government policy to restrict freedom of speech in our universities, that campaign is flawed from its beginning.

Of the academic signatories, several are in receipt of the largesse currently provided by the Muslim Brotherhood and its front groups to select UK academics – Tom Mills, Hilary Aked and David Miller. Unfortunately, those of us academics who earn a slightly more honest crust struggle to have our say on these issues. Whilst Prof Jackson was able to circulate encouragement to sign up to a draft of this letter on the critical terrorism studies list on Wednesday 8 July, my comments in response are still to appear on that list.

Lets all join hands together and say we support free debate and discussion shall we?