The NUS Bans Free Speech And Won’t Condemn IS For Fear Of Looking Islamophobic
THE National Union of Students has voted. And it will not condemn ISIS.
The Tab reports:
The bill called for the Union – which claims to represent UK students – to support unity between Muslims, condemn the bloody terror of ISIS (also known as the Islamic State), and support a boycott on people who fund the militants. But the motion offended Black Students Officer Malia Bouattia, who said: “We recognise that condemnation of ISIS appears to have become a justification for war and blatant Islamaphobia. This rhetoric exacerbates the issue at hand and in essence is a further attack on those we aim to defend.”
Sometimes you can’t see the forest for the trees.
Yet, in some ways, this is encouraging. Campusus are so uniform and intolerant, places where radicalism is stymied by a ‘you can’t say that’ attitude that calling criticism of the Islamic State’s muderous, fascistic loons Islamophobic is a little heartening.
British universities operate a No Platform policy. Oxford Brooks Student Union explains how this nonsense works:
No Platform Policy
This Union believes:
That racism is still rife in all aspects of society and that it should be confronted wherever it is found;
That in line with it’s equal opportunities policy, the Union should be at the forefront of campaigns to combat prejudice on the basis of ethnic origin or religious belief;
That it is an anti-fascist and anti-racist organisation;
That a no platform policy is a key element in the fight against racism on campus;
That the no-platform policy compliments equial opportunities policies and the Public Order Act;
That its premises are a safe space for anyone facing racist or fascist persecution.
You will expose racism by banning debate, driving it underground and making the bigots victims. Go on…
This Union states:
That no platform policies safeguard Union members from being subjected to the bigotry of racists and fascists;
That some members are confused about what a no platform amounts to and that it is the responsibility of the officer team, supported by staff, to educate its active members on the issues surrounding a no platform policy.
This Union resolves:
That no elected officer or the Union will speak on a platform with an individual who is known to hold racist or fascist views;
To prevent any individual who is known to hold racist or fascist views from entering Union premises;
To prevent any individual who is known to hold racist or fascist views from speaking at a Union event;
Not to allow any individual who is known to hold racist or fascist views to distribute any written or recorded material in the Union which expresses those views;
That resolutions one to four shall be known at the Union’s ‘no platform policy’;
To widely publicise this policy, not only to its members but also to the insitution through appropriate channels;
To incorporate the ‘no platform’ policy into the Union’s disciplinary procedure and use it accordingly.
Students are so afraid of ideas and uncertain of their ability to smash bigotry and racism with debate that they ban free speech. Confront the speakers. Argue. Do it. It says so at the top of your policy.
The following organisations were presented as to be considered fascist and racist organisations:
British National Party – a political party formed as a splinter group from the National Front;
Britain First – a small group which split from the BNP in 2011;
Combat 18 – a neo-Nazi terrorist group associated with Blood & Honour;
English Defence League – a populist protest movement which apposes what it considers the spread of Islam;
National Front – a white supremacist political party;
Hizb ut-Tahrir – a political Islamist organisation believing in the establishment of an Islamic caliphate.
You might not like these bigots, but belonging to any of those groups or even voting for them in a free and fair election is not illegal. Beyond the walls of the student union, these nasties exist. It’s only in the universistes, once the place where radicals and debate thrived, that they are forbidden.
Students have decreed that some things are unsayable. They are the iliberal moralists. The kids know best. Free speech is not for them.
Sarah Ditum states:
No platform now uses the pretext of opposing hate speech to justify outrageously dehumanising language, and sets up an ideal of “safe spaces” within which certain individuals can be harassed. A tool that was once intended to protect democracy from undemocratic movements has become a weapon used by the undemocratic against democracy.Not merely false, not something to be robustly opposed, but a position so appalling it simply shouldn’t be heard.
But students are not yet all compliant. They wants IS to speak. They won’t condemn. They will debate. Well, not exactly. It turns out that what we took for radicalism is just another attempt to limit the conversation and shout down alternative views.
Birmingham student Bouattia says she plans to put forward another motion in the next meeting to condemn ISIS that “will in no way pander to Western imperialistic intervention or the demonisation of Muslim peoples.”
The motion in full went like this:
Proposed: Daniel Cooper
Seconded: Shreya Paudel, Clifford Fleming
NUS National Executive Committee notes:
1. The ongoing humanitarian crisis and sectarian polarisation in Iraq – which has resulted in thousands of Yazidi Kurds being massacred.
NUS NEC believes
1. That the people of Iraq have suffered for years under the sectarian and brutally repressive dictatorship of Saddam Hussein, the US/UK invasion and occupation, the current sectarian regime linked to both the US and Iran, and now the barbaric repression of the “Islamic State” organisation.
2. That rape and other forms of sexual violence are being used as weapons against women in IS-occupied areas, while minorities are being ethnically cleansed.
NUS NEC resolves
1. To work with the International Students’ Campaign to support Iraqi, Syrian and other international students in the UK affected by this situation.
2. To campaign in solidarity with the Iraqi people and in particular support the hard-pressed student, workers’ and women’s organisations against all the competing nationalist and religious-right forces.
3. To support Iraqis trying to bridge the Sunni-Shia divide to fight for equality and democracy, including defence of the rights of the Christian and Yazidi-Kurd minorities.
4. To condemn the IS and support the Kurdish forces fighting against it, while expressing no confidence or trust in the US military intervention.
5. Encourage students to boycott anyone found to be funding the IS or supplying them with goods, training, travel or soldiers.
6. To make contact with Iraqi and Kurdish organisations, in Iraq and in the UK, in order to build solidarity and to support refugees.
7. To issue a statement on the above basis.
The Tab adds:
Speaking on behalf of the Black Students’ campaign, Malia Bouttia said yesterday she planned a new motion and emphasised her support for Kurds. She said: “The NUS Black Students’ Campaign stands in support of Black communities across the globe and uncompromisingly against imperialism and Western interference which history shows all too often leads to the suffering of Black people. We stand in complete solidarity with the Kurdish people against the recent attacks by ISIS and join many others in condemnation of their brutal actions. In doing so we recognise that condemnation of ISIS appears to have become a justification for war and blatant Islamaphobia. This rhetoric exacerbates the issue at hand and in essence is a further attack on those we aim to defend. The NUS Black Students’ Campaign will be working with Kurdish students and the International Students Campaign to raise this issue within the NUS.
“A motion will be taken to the next NUS National Executive which truly reflects the situation. This motion will pose a condemnation of the politics and methods of ISIS as well as unequivocal support for the Kurdish people. It will in no way pander to Western imperialistic intervention or the demonisation of Muslim peoples.”
You can just imagine the people trapped in the ISIS surge cheering on the NUS Black Students’ Campaign. Sure the spaced-out loons are going to rape and kill us because of our beliefs and culture, but it’s just terrific that these students are taking care to prevent racism…