From Samuel Paty in France last year, and more recently events at Batley Grammar School, it is clear that we need to hear liberal Muslim voices in the public sphere so traditionalists do not control the narrative. Liberal-minded people of all religions and colour should be able to disagree and offend without fear of institutional […]
Events at Batley Grammar School this week have resulted in a teacher and his family having to go into hiding. His ‘crime’,at the very worst, was having given a poor lesson that offended the religious sensibilities of some Muslim parents. Reprehensible as the protests outside the school gates are, they are not the main problem. […]
We live in a democracy, but are we witnessing worrying signs of a totalitarian culture?
Considering two recent cases of offensive tweets regarding Captain Sir Tom Moore, Nick Buckley , who has personal experience of twitter amplified intolerance, argues that offensive comments should not be criminalised and offenders shouldn’t lose their jobs. Freedom of speech must be a universal value, otherwise it becomes an elite privilege: Jarel […]
Does hate speech law need to be updated or clarified? How has the situation changed in universities in the two years since the Committee’s report on the issue? Does everyone have equal protection of their right to freedom of expression?
In this honest and moving account, Bradley Strotten at The Equiano Project, and ambassador for the newly formed Free Speech Champions, reflects on his working-class background, his relationship with his father and writes: Furthermore, unlike my younger self, I do not think that the expression of national pride, a sense of belonging, and concern over […]
Camilla Turner at The Telegraph interviewed Dr Arif Ahmed, a philosophy lecturer who spearheaded a campaign at Cambridge University to amend a proposed free speech policy. The policy would have prioritised respect for different groups and opinions over a commitment to tolerance of free speech. Had the proposal passed unamended, it could have fostered division, […]
Cambridge student Sophie Watson at tcs makes an eloquent case against a policy that is presented as protecting free speech but actually undermines one of its central conditions: tolerance. Well-done to those defending freedom of speech and arguing that all students and staff must be allowed to make their own judgments: The policy’s vagueness makes […]
We are used to media stories of students calling for universities to act against many ‘isms’ and phobias, and often the line between their own thoughts and beliefs, and those of academic/activists is hard to discern. So it is especially heartening to see that so many Oxford students have spoken out against their institutions silence […]
Like others before him, in France and elsewhere, Samuel Paty was murdered because he offended. Nico Macdonald at medium.com argues we need to be free to offend and that well-intentioned attempts to protect certain ethnic or religious groups from the feeling of being offended, results in an infantilisation that can be profoundly destructive for everyone: […]