On March 14, just hours before the event was due to begin, the University of Leeds cancelled an invited, university-sponsored, two-day workshop by German scholar Matthias Kuentzelon “Hitler’s Legacy: Islamic Antisemitism in the Middle East.”
Dr Kuentzel’s talk would have been part of a series of scholars’ and artists’ talks at the German Department. The series is supported by a grant from the School of Modern Languages, who did not raise any issues during the grant application process. The University cited security reasons for cancelling the workshop based on threatening emails it received to the Office of Vice Chancellor.
The episode is symptomatic of a wider problem. Either academics too easily bow to pressure and intimidation; or campus leftwingers and liberals have a natural tendency to deny, whitewash or apologise for Muslim antisemitism.
A recent example of the latter appears in an exchange between Timothy Furnish and David Slavin at History News Network (Via Augean Stables).Furnish argues that Muslim antisemitism has deeper roots than the establishment of Israel. Slavin produces a ‘politically correct’ counter-argument.