web analytics
March 28, 2015 / 8 Nisan, 5775
At a Glance
InDepth
Sponsored Post


Home » InDepth » Op-Eds »

Should Academic Free Speech Accommodate Holocaust Denial?


If you scratch a Holocaust denier long enough, you may reveal an anti-Semite, but not always. You will, however, probably find someone like the morally repellant Kaukab Siddique, a Pakistani-born tenured associate professor of English and journalism at Lincoln University in Pennsylvania, who seemingly puts great faith in conspiratorial dramas in which a crafty and all-powerful enemy (i.e., Jews) weaves oft-repeated claims about the Holocaust just to elicit the world’s sympathy and promote Zionism and the creation of Israel.

Siddique has been embroiled in an intellectual firestorm ever since his paroxysms of hatred toward Israel were exposed in a video taken during his appearance at a Labor Day rally in Washington and posted by The Investigative Project and reported on by the Christian Broadcasting Network. Siddique was filmed crying out to the crowd: “I say to the Muslims, ‘Dear brothers and sisters, unite and rise up against this hydra-headed monster which calls itself Zionism…we must stand united to defeat, to destroy, to dismantle Israel, if possible [apparently not necessarily] by peaceful means.”

But Siddique, it has been revealed since this recent furor began, has an even more pernicious intellectual defect that calls into question not only his academic credibility but his very qualifications to hold tenure at a university at all. It is one thing for a tenured professor at a modern university to have negative attitudes toward Jews and Israel. It is altogether a more serious matter when a member of the professoriate, as is the case with Siddique, thinks academic free speech gives him moral cover to delve into the intellectual netherworld of conspiracies, historical distortions and full-blown Holocaust denial.

In a now widely circulated e-mail thread on the website Rense.com, for example, Siddique suggested the Nazis were not actually that harmful to European Jewry, and that the “Holocaust is a hoax.” Those who still speak about it should “Get over it!” since there “is not even ONE document proving the holocaust [sic],” an assertion that might come as a surprise to the archivists at the U.S. Holocaust Museum and Memorial, as one example, which owns some 51 million pages of documents and 121 million images cataloguing the exact Nazi atrocities Siddique denies ever occurred.

Does it matter if a tenured professor expresses personal opinions, no matter how odious and controversial – and are they not acceptable under the notion of academic free speech? Yes and no. With great regularity, academic imbecility and fraudulent scholarship have been substituted for reasoned inquiry on our campuses; and as Michael Rubin, a resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute, has observed, “academic freedom is meant to protect scholarship, not replace it.”

Nor, he adds, does “free speech absolve anyone from professional incompetence, which is the heart of the matter in a conversation about Professor Siddique and his qualification to be part of a community of scholars where certain ideas and theories simply do not deserve nor warrant academic discourse.”

More seriously, Siddique’s vile intellectual outbursts should be of enormous concern to Lincoln University officials, since his ideas have to be understood as expressive of raw Jew-hatred, regardless of his own attempt to excuse it as mere criticism of Israel.

In fact, if one applies the working definition of contemporary anti-Semitism, produced in 2005 by the European Union Monitoring Centre on Racism and Xenophobia (EUMC) to Siddique’s core ideologies and attitudes, the nature of his speech and thought is quite clear. EUMC’s definition describes behavior as anti-Semitic when an individual makes “mendacious, dehumanizing, demonizing, or stereotypical allegations about Jews “; denies “the fact, scope or intentionality of the genocide of the Jewish people at the hands of National Socialist Germany during World War II”; and accuses “the Jews as a people, or Israel as a state, of inventing or exaggerating the Holocaust,” all of which animate Siddique’s lurid writing and speaking.

Putting aside the fact that Lincoln’s own code of conduct forbids “any conduct or behavior that is disrespectful, absurd and rude,” and despite the fact that the university has now distanced itself from comments and beliefs Siddique expressed publicly but outside campus walls, there should be universal denunciation of the professor’s whole belief system.

This case also exposes the startling double standard currently prevalent in academia when it comes to who may say what about whom. Either because they are feckless or want to coddle perceived protected student minority groups in the name of diversity, university administrations are morally inconsistent when taking a stand against what they consider “hate speech,” believing, mistakenly, that only harsh expression against victim groups needs to be moderated. When other groups – whites, Christians, Republicans, heterosexual males, Jews – are the object of offensive speech, no protection is deemed necessary.

About the Author: Richard L. Cravatts, Ph.D., author of “Genocidal Liberalism: The University’s Jihad Against Israel & Jews,” is president of Scholars for Peace in the Middle East.


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

No Responses to “Should Academic Free Speech Accommodate Holocaust Denial?”

Comments are closed.

Current Top Story
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu.
Netanyahu to Release Frozen Palestinian Authority Tax Revenue
Latest Indepth Stories
Islamic Relief Worldwide Logo

In November 2014, Islamic Relief Worldwide was classified as a terrorist organization by the United Arab Emirates.

Safran-032715

Too rarely appreciated for its symbolic weight; it can represent freedom and independence.

Erica Pelman is a spiritually-driven woman. She is founder and director of “In Shifra’s Arms” (ISA), an organization that offers aid to pregnant Jewish women of all religious backgrounds practically, financially and emotionally. Its arms are open to any pregnant woman in need whether single, divorced, separated, or from a financially-strapped family. “Presently, we are […]

Gerstenfeld-032715

Many so-called “humanitarian NGOs” frequently abuse Israel by applying false moral equivalencies

Israeli history now has its version of “Dewey Defeats Truman” with headlines from 2 anti-Bibi papers

In God’s plan why was it necessary that Moses be raised by Pharaoh, away from his own family&people?

In their zechus may we all come to appreciate that life is a fleeting gift and resolve to spend every precious moment of it as if it were the last.

In any event, Mr. Netanyahu after the election sought to soften his statement on Palestinian statehood and apologized for what he conceded were remarks that “offended some Israeli citizens and offended members of the Israeli Arab community.”

A worthy idea any way you look at it.

There is something quite distinctive about the biblical approach to time.

The Waqf kept control of the Temple Mount due to Dayan’s “magnanimity in victory” after 6 Day war

The event promotes “1 state” solution (end of Israel as a Jewish State), BDS, lawfare against Israel

I rescued you?! You’re doing me a favor letting me help you!

“Tzedakah tatzil mi-mavet: Charity saves from death”; No death & a tax break? Where do I sign up?

More Articles from Richard L. Cravatts
Cravatts-Richard--new

Abbas has been adding new layers of rhetoric to his tactical campaign to de-Judaize Jerusalem

Cravatts-Richard--new

Only in the inverted world of academia would Jewish professors denounce the AMCHA Initiative report.

Rather than serving as a deterrent against terrorist attacks, Israel’s military strength and capabilities are instead looked at as an unfair advantage in the asymmetrical war in which it finds itself.

The multiculturalism that animates the hate-Israel crowd is sprinkled with code words of oppression

Jews do not fare well on campuses these days, particularly in the context of the debate over Israel.

The cynical, and historically and factually inaccurate, view has meant leftists frequently denounce Western democracies as imperialistic, racist, militaristic oppressors.

What was unique about the MLA’s and the ASA’s approach was the breathtakingly Orwellian notion that not only was Israel itself guilty of the many alleged transgressions assigned to it by its libelers, but a boycott against Israeli academics was warranted because the academic establishment itself is complicit in Zionism’s excesses and a core element of the bemoaned occupation, oppression, and denial of Palestinian self-determination.

The ASA has obviously overlooked the pathology of Palestinian society.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/opinions/should-academic-free-speech-accommodate-holocaust-denial/2010/11/03/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: