Columbia Jewish Students Call for Protection Ahead of Upcoming Speech on Campus by Antisemitic Malaysian PM
Fri Sep 20 2019
A Change.org petition protesting an upcoming Sept. 25 speech at Columbia University by Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad — who has a long record of antisemitic statements — had received more than 800 signatures by Friday afternoon.
“Universities should present divergent and radical opinions, but they are not environments in which absolutely anything goes,” the petition — an initiative of the Students Supporting Israel (SSI) chapter at Columbia — says. “A language that encourages racism, bigotry and hate speech has no place in academic discourse.
“Free speech is an important fundamental right to any individual living in a free society,” it continues. “Mohamad can say anything he wants, of course — that is free speech. But being able to speak at Columbia University — or at any university, for that matter — is a privilege, not a right.”
“This is not a matter of free speech, or of scholarly freedom,” the petition notes. “It is a matter of basic academic decency.”
The petition concludes by urging Columbia President Lee Bollinger to “undertake immediate measures to ensure the safety and well being of Columbia’s Jewish students.”...