We’ve become so used to the ‘non-platforming’ of speakers in our universities that the latest scandal, albeit reported in British MSM, has apparently been taken as normal student behaviour by conservative writers and blogs. Nothing on Breitbart, nothing on conservative blogs at the time of writing, nor on order-order where there’s gloating about the threatened bankruptcy of the National student Union, something picked up by UKIP’s leader Gerard Batten – but this non-platforming seems to be strangely irrelevant … This is even more strange because the original complaint leading to this non-platforming (see e.g. here or here) came from a Muslim Network … and even made it into the New York Times!
This is also astonishing because our MSM have reported that the Oxford’s Student Union protested, that ‘mass protests’ were planned, and that Oxford academics wrote an open letter in protest. They even reported that the speaker invited by the Oxford Union (not to confuse with the Oxford’s Student Union – the Oxford Union is a Debate Club) had now withdrawn (see e.g. here).
So what’s the fuss about? Who was that speaker against whom this massive protest was directed?
It was Dr Alice Weidel MdB, leader of the AfD Group of 90+ elected MPs, duly and democratically elected to the German Parliament, the Bundestag, in last year’s election. While Oxford’s students have form – they got Marine Le Pen disinvited – it is astonishing that nobody of the University’s feminist groups (there surely must be some?) actually stood up against this blatant curtailing of free speech and debate. After all, “we” are supposed to ‘celebrate’ successful women, and surely Dr Weidel is successful … ah, but! Here’s yet another proof that for our modern feminists there are ‘wimmin’ and there are horrible ‘right-wing extreme populist’ women who must on no account be heard, never mind supported.
This is what the President of the Oxford Union said:
“We consider our invitations carefully. We firmly believe in free speech. That is not going to change because some student activists with very small mandates condemn us, […] “We always seek to invite politicians in major European democracies who are gathering steam and have a certain degree of prominence.”
That is nowadays simply not good enough! There are … issues, after all! That’s why the ‘Oxford Labour Muslim Network’ objected! They said in a letter that:
“[…] offering a platform for ‘hate speech’ must ‘not be conflated with freedom of speech’, and that the Oxford Union had ‘frequently been on the wrong side of history by platforming far-right extremists’. (Daily Mail).
In other words: when a muslim network declares someone to be ‘anti-islam’, the usual suspects from the Left fall all over themselves to climb on that particular bandwagon, with ‘Stand up Against Racism’ and ‘United Against Fascism well to the fore:
“Ian McKendrick, an officer of Stand Up Against Racism, one of the groups organizing Wednesday’s demonstration, said protesters would congregate outside the Oxford Union. Their goal, Mr. McKendrick said, is both to “demoralize racists” and “embarrass the Oxford Union” for extending such an irresponsible invitation.
“Inviting her to speak was a gross mistake,” added Kate Douglas, an officer of Unite Against Fascism, another of the groups organizing the demonstration. “It’s giving her a platform. It’s making her views more mainstream and acceptable, and we know what will follow: race hate, racist attacks and the legitimization of racist views.”
Yes indeed – let’s prevent debate because racism surely will go away when we keep quiet and don’t talk about what is going on in our towns and cities …
The obligatory academics had of course got to wade in with their letter – one Professor is quoted widely:
“Paul Betts, a history professor at St Antony’s College, said […] ‘Her party’s anti-Muslim race-baiting politics has no place in a city that prides itself on tolerance, diversity and aversion to extremisms of all kinds.”
Race-baiting? Does the professor think islam is a race? I bet he kept quiet when the Oxford grooming gang trial happened. Did anyone ask him if that’s the diversity he ‘celebrates’?
So Dr Weidel has now cancelled her appearance. The muslim-appeasers of course welcome this:
“An Oxford Union spokeswoman said that the society was ‘committed to the principles of political neutrality and free speech’ and said that members could challenge Dr Weidel’s views after the speech but Stephen Horvath, the society’s president, later told The Times: ‘Alice Weidel has cancelled her trip to the UK due to concerns with the security arrangements for aspects of her travels and engagements.’ A spokesman for the university societies welcomed the news but said: ‘It is deeply regrettable that the union saw fit to invite an unashamed racist to speak in the first place.”(Daily Mail).
The massed Lefties are jubilant:
“Oxford Stand Up To Racism’s Kate Douglas declared ‘victory’ for campaigners, adding: “We were expecting hundreds to protest and the cancellation shows anti-racists can make a difference if they organise. The Stand Up To Racism campaign united campaigers [sic], councillors, academics, trade unionists, students and Oxford residents, and drew the support of the local Labour MP. All oppose the Oxford Union giving a platform to a representative of a party that is deeply racist and has Nazi members.” (Oxford Mail).
Yes – this is a success – a success for organised intolerance, for caving in to a muslim ‘objection’, for closing minds because ‘we’ are so tolerant that we celebrate grooming gangs because → diversity, but cannot even listen to an alternative voice.
It is now simply sufficient to label a person, the party she leads and the German voters who’ve elected them as ‘anti-muslim race baiting’ without providing any proof (should an academic not demand proof before making such statement?) and threaten violence to shut down a debate.
That the President of Oxford University did not stand up for freedom of speech at his august institution should however not come as a surprise. Chris Patten is an arch-remainer, and you only have to watch the video below of one of Dr Weidel’s speeches in the Bundestag to know the reason:
(The video has English subtitles)