The University of Oxford is under fire for inviting a defender of the disgraced academic David Miller and critic of the International Definition of Antisemitism to deliver lecture on “equality and diversity”.
Tariq Modood, the founder and Director of the University of Bristol’s Research Centre for the Study of Ethnicity and Citizenship, delivered the Oxford Law Faculty’s Annual Equality and Diversity Lecture, titled “Islamophobia and the Struggle for Recognition,” last week.
In March, Prof. Modood defended his then-Bristol colleague, David Miller, reportedly saying: “I think the empirical research that David is doing is not antisemitic and is valuable for hunting down evidence that displays the linkages between various organisations and funders in this country, the U.S. and Israel that are not just promoting their own views. Of course they have a right to do that, but they’re having the effect of making it difficult for people in this country, including academics, to speak up at conferences for the Palestinian cause without incurring the charge of antisemitism and therefore putting one’s career and reputation at risk.”
He also reportedly criticised the International Definition of Antisemitism, asserting that it was “mixing up anti-Zionism and anti-Israel with antisemitism”.
David Miller was fired by the University of Bristol over comments he had made about Jewish students, a month after Campaign Against Antisemitism commenced a lawsuit on behalf of current students against the institution.
The incident came just weeks after Oxford became embroiled in controversy after it was revealed that the University had accepted a donation from the Mosley family trust and was intending to honour the family name.
Binyomin Gilbert, Programme Manager at Campaign Against Antisemitism, said: “It is extraordinary that a vocal supporter of the disgraced academic David Miller and an opponent of the International Definition of Antisemitism should be invited to lecture on equality and diversity. In the midst of the deep controversy surrounding the acceptance of donations from the Mosley family trust and attempts to honour the name of Britain’s foremost fascist family, one would have expected the University of Oxford to be particularly sensitive to Jewish concerns at this time. Instead, the University has yet again shown contempt towards Jewish students.”
If any students are concerned about antisemitism on campus or need assistance, they can call us on 0330 822 0321, or e-mail [email protected].