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An attack on freedom of speech

by Sunny on 7th March, 2006 at 3:32 am    

It would be no exaggeration to say there is a bit of paranoia in certain circles on what Muslim students at university are doing. Or more specifically, about the potential for ‘recruitment’ by extremist such as Al-Ghuraaba and Hizb ut-Tahrir. But where do you draw the line?

Last year two friends, Assed Baig and Darrell Williams, were expelled from Birmingham’s Matthew Boulton College for producing a newsletter that discussed their frustrations at how the college behaved, including its refusal to let them establish an Islamic Society and general political antipathy of fellow students.

Kitty Killer writes about the background on Liberty Central. The NUS has also backed the boys, who were recently interviewed on Channel 4 News.

Having wearily watched Al-M and HuT recruit at university and intimidate others into silence, I’m unsure on where the boundaries lie. Former HuT member Shiraz Maher advocates universities keep a close eye on activity in that C4 interview and I agree. But it is definitely going too far when educational establishments don’t even allow religious societies, like in this case, until an extremist element can be proven.

As an aside, C4 News started a blog on News From Iran on Monday, much more informative than the hysterical drivel in the MSM and blogs these days.

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  1. Anand — on 7th March, 2006 at 10:27 am  

    I know Matthew Boulton college and their thinking on this was probably influenced by the fact that their studentship is comprised of a great variety of backgrounds of people doing A Levels and Btecs etc. I know that there is a history of tension between students there especially between Sikhs and Muslims and any delicacy on such matters has to be seen in the light of this.

    Birmingham + 6th Form College + In-Your-Face Religious Politics is an incendiary combination.

  2. Don — on 7th March, 2006 at 1:23 pm  

    These guys appear to be marxists, if their choice of name is significant;


    It would be interesting to see the newsletter. Criticising fellow students covers a lot of ground.

  3. j0nz — on 7th March, 2006 at 9:29 pm  

    Sorry OT

    More freedom of expression from the religion of peace


  4. Don — on 7th March, 2006 at 10:15 pm  


    … Oh, never mind.

  5. Sid D H Arthur — on 7th March, 2006 at 10:25 pm  

    Traffic must be slow at Harry’s Anxiety Attack tonight.

  6. Sunny — on 7th March, 2006 at 11:18 pm  

    What’s the connection j0nz? I’m still waiting for that one to click.

  7. Refresh — on 8th March, 2006 at 12:17 am  

    Until we get a connection from j0nz can I just digress a little:

    - does anyone know who Harry is at Harry’s Place?

    I occasionally go there when I am nearly comatose after catching up with the blogs.

    Its just that he’s gone all philosophical about forgiveness.

    I didn’t stay long enough to reach a conclusion on where he’s at.

  8. Don — on 8th March, 2006 at 12:21 am  


    Apart from the inevitable moron, that was a very thoughtful thread. What is your problem with it?

  9. Refresh — on 8th March, 2006 at 12:30 am  

    Not that thoughtful since it seemed to be an opening to yet another call to arms. Duplicitous opening I thought.

  10. Don — on 8th March, 2006 at 1:19 am  

    ‘Duplicitous opening’

    That’s rather gnomic. Would you care to expand?

  11. Refresh — on 8th March, 2006 at 8:22 am  

    Not sure I need to expand.

    What do you know about Harry?

  12. Don — on 8th March, 2006 at 9:04 am  

    Reason not the need.

    What does one need to know?

  13. Refresh — on 8th March, 2006 at 9:55 am  

    I seem to find his contributions one-dimensional, with everything latched to the one agenda - pro-war. Including the one on forgiveness.

    Am I wrong? A genuine question.

  14. Don — on 8th March, 2006 at 6:47 pm  

    I see. When you asked ‘What do you know about Harry’ I was a bit confused. Thought you were referring to some specific information (such as he’s the bastard son of Karl Rove and Anne Winterton).

    As far as I can gather he’s a pro-war socialist who tends to agree with the likes of Cohen, Hitchens and Ari. So I wouldn’t be suprised if many of his contributions are pro-war. I don’t know if they all are, as I don’t follow that closely. But surely the blog is widely known as a place for the pro-war left? Wasn’t that part of its raison d’etre?

    What prompted my original question was your choice of this particular article to raise. I saw nothing duplicitous about it. A perfectly valid topic, a coherent standpoint consistent with previous arguments and a generally intelligent and thoughtful response, always excepting the morons, such as ‘a thought’ who try to whip up a shouting match and all too often succeed. One of the reasons I seldom post there is that when you find a promising contribution the thread is already 130 comments long, with 100 of them being the same people hurling the same abuse at each other.

    For myself, I generally find about 70% of the contributors’ articles worthwhile ( I can’t really sustain that much interest in Galloway). I can quite appreciate that you are coming from a different perspective, as many people do ( as I type this I can almost see Sid’s trigger-finger twitching, Jack Palance style) but on that specific thread, I think you are stretching it.

  15. Refresh — on 8th March, 2006 at 9:18 pm  

    I should have written it for him. He clearly does not address the philosophical issue of forgiveness - without ending up calling for more war.

    I, well I prefer less war. What other purpose is there for forgiveness in this context.

    As for forgiveness, each individual affected has to deal with the pain in their own way. I am totally with Julies Nicholson, and similarly I am with the parents of the children killed in Iraq, Palestine and yes of course in Israel - to name but a few places.

    There is a push, a major push, to divide us all into our nominated categories. That I am afraid I find repulsive. I suspect unwittingly Harry becomes a part of that push.

    To justify his one war, he has to justify more war. And in what started as an enlightened piece on forgiveness - he ends up where he’s always been (it seems).

    My Palance-style first reaction.

  16. Don — on 8th March, 2006 at 10:04 pm  

    ‘There is a push, a major push, to divide us all into our nominated categories. That I am afraid I find repulsive.’

    I could not agree more. Thanks.

  17. Sid D H Arthur — on 8th March, 2006 at 11:31 pm  

    as I type this I can almost see Sid’s trigger-finger twitching, Jack Palance style

    Harry’s scratchin’ makin’ me twitch.

    When I want to a read pro-War point well made, or stuff that really makes me rethink my tendency to creep up my own rectum (yes, I know, I know but its not a bad place to get some thinking done) I read Shuggy’s Blog.

    I don’t often agree with the man, but I totally respect his ability with words and the obvious sincerity and his ability to pack more pathos into a sentence than most can into an entire blog. I tend to find he goes well with a fat spliff and 23 Skidoo.

  18. Don — on 9th March, 2006 at 12:19 am  

    With you on Shuggy. Hard nosed worthwhile dude.

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