An Islamic portal is reporting that an Iranian influence organization is organizing a boycott of a British university over the firing of a professor accused of antisemitism. According to the 5pillars report:
October 2021: Civil society organisations and activists in the UK and overseas are threatening to organise a mass boycott of the University of Bristol unless it reverses its dismissal of Professor David Miller for his outspokenly critical stance on Israel and its supporters. In a letter sent to the university today, they accuse the university of caving in to the demands of the pro-Israel lobby and violating the freedom of speech that is necessary for intellectual enquiry.[…]
Despite being cleared of those charges, the university fired him nevertheless saying his conduct had fallen below the standards expected from its staff.[…]
The chair of the Islamic Human Rights Commission which organised the letter, Massoud Shadjareh, said: “For Bristol University to capitulate to political pressure and sack a lecturer for just doing his job represents an unacceptable and outrageous form of censorship. It has created a situation whereby the expression of anti-Israel views are effectively prohibited amongst students and staff. This double standard can’t and won’t be tolerated.”
Read the rest here.
A BBC article reported that Miller had accused Israel of wanting to “impose [its] will all over the world.” He also said Jewish student groups, who had lodged formal complaints about his views, were part of a “drive to stop anyone speaking out about Palestine.” The British Parliament All-Party Parliamentary Group Against Anti-Semitism accused Prof Miller of “inciting hatred against Jewish students,” the BBC goes on to report.
Several representatives from Islamist and/or Global Muslim Brotherhood (GMB) groups also signed the letter:
- Azad Ali of CAGE: a UK Islamic advocacy group tied to the British Muslim Brotherhood and, according to the UK government, its senior leaders have advocated supporting violent jihad overseas.
- Zaher Birawi of the Palestinian Forum in Britain: Birawi is a prominent British pro-Hamas activist and long-time Director of the Palestinian Return Centre, designated by the Israeli government and described as “Hamas’s organizational branch in Europe.”
- Olsi Jazexhiu: assistant professor at the International Islamic University of Malaysia, perhaps the most important university for the GMB.
- Ismail Patel of Friends of Al-Aqsa: a British pro-Hamas organization that has been described by an Israeli NGO advocating Israel’s elimination.
- Daud Abdullah and Ibrahim Hewitt of Middle East Monitor (MEMO): a UK-based Islamist news portal close to the GMB and Hamas.
Rabbi Ahron Cohen of Neturei Karta also signed the letter. Neturei Karta is an anti-Zionist Jewish group that has supported Iran and GMB events.
The Islamic Human Rights Commission (IHRC) is a UK-based NGO founded in 1997. Since 2007, it has had Special Consultative Status with the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations. Its website says it works with different organizations from Muslim and non-Muslim backgrounds “to campaign for justice for all peoples regardless of their racial, confessional, or political background.” The IHRC has been supportive of the Iranian regime, and for many years has been central to organizing the events of the annual International Quds Day, which the US-based Anti-Defamation League has linked to “horrific propaganda calling for the destruction of the State of Israel, as well as messages of support for terrorist organizations and a deluge of antisemitic hate speech.”