If you would like to submit a contribution to our Readers Blog section then follow this link. Be sure to include your full name, address and contact number otherwise your submission will not be considered for publication. We will contact you prior to publication.

Trinity College Dublin ought to be a bastion of free speech and debate

When Maryam Namazie, a world renowned Iranian human rights activist cancelled her proposed lecture on “Apostasy and the rise of Islamism”, to the Society for International Affairs (SoFIA) in Trinity College Dublin, on Monday, March 23, she explained that Trinity security officials decided her address was “one sided” and antagonistic to “Muslim students”. 

She was told it could only proceed if a moderator oversaw the lecture, this is not the normal format so Namazie refused fearing she would effectively be censored.

In marked contrast Trinity’s Muslim Student Association hosted Kamel El Mekki “who advocates the death penalty for apostasy” last month without any so-called oversight.

SoFIA’s capitulation to Islamist pressure is a denigration of Namazie’s determination to challenge radical Islam, its attempt to justify this by arguing it was necessary to ensure individuals could express opinions “without fear of being threatened after the discussion”, is a supine response which should concern anyone who believes in objective debate.

Free speech is a core tenet of academic discourse; not only has SoFIA undermined the essence of scholarly debate, it has set a precedent that will discourage moderate Muslims from challenging Islamists.

It should be a stark warning to an academia retreating behind a wall of political correctness, and it should also remind the university’s of George Orwell’s classic quote, “if liberty means anything at all, it means the right to tell people what they do not want to hear”.

Dr Kevin McCarthy

Kinsale

Co Cork

© Irish Examiner Ltd. All rights reserved

Email Updates

Receive our lunchtime briefing straight to your inbox

Breaking Stories

Vera Twomey announces Ava will start medical cannabis treatment tomorrow - in Holland

Dail hears call to end use of anti malarial drug by Defence Forces

Lucky player scoops €500,000 in Lotto Plus 1 draw

Judge to give convicted sex offender one last chance

Lifestyle

Hand of Fate: Have faith in the hand you are dealt

Sean O’Hagan returns to 'cosmopolitan' Cork

Nude dating show Naked Attraction will see singletons revealing a lot about themselves

'Everybody cheats on everybody': Technology and its impact on human behaviour

More From The Irish Examiner