"Even though the construction of the future and its completion for all times is not our task, what we have to accomplish at this time is all the more clear: *relentless criticism of all existing conditions*, relentless in the sense that the criticism is not afraid of its findings and just as little afraid of the conflict with the powers that be."
Thursday, May 11, 2017
A colleague of mine at Oxford was asked to see an undergraduate who was falling behind in her work. The student – a Muslim – explained that she had been suffering from depression and was being treated for it by her GP. My colleague believed the student’s explanation placed her under an obligation to ask the student whether she was being radicalised.
A young colleague, an Arab, told me that when he tried to book a room for a seminar, he was informed that this was no longer permitted on security grounds: he had to get a ‘senior’ academic to confirm the real purpose of the meeting.
Another young colleague was told that she had to carry out a security ‘risk assessment’ for a feminist seminar she was convening; she refused, and was repeatedly pressured to comply.
A librarian was asked for a reference by another university: ‘Are you completely satisfied,’ they wanted to know, ‘that the applicant is not involved in “extremism” (being vocal or active opposition to fundamental British values, including democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty and mutual respect and tolerance of different faiths and beliefs)?’