So much for free speech. Source: UCLA banned my book on Islam from a free speech event | TheHill
At UCLA Law School last week, a squad of student “thought police” tried to ban my book, Failing to Confront Islamic Totalitarianism: From George W. Bush to Barack Obama and Beyond. They don’t want you to know the book even exists, let alone what’s inside it. And the UCLA administration enabled them. This ominous episode underlines how students are learning to be contemptuous of intellectual freedom.
During the reception, however, a group of UCLA students assembled in front of the book table and objected to mine. Why? Had they read the book, weighed the evidence, and found it lacking? Had they formed a considered evaluation of the book’s argument?
No: They felt the book was “offensive” and “insulting.” They had “issues” with the views that I and my co-author, Onkar Ghate, put forward. Our views, it seems, were “Islamophobic.” Based on what? Apparently, for some of them, it was the book’s title.
The students demanded that my book be removed from display. My colleagues who manned the display table declined to remove the book.
So the students enforced their own brand of thought control. They turned their backs to the table, forming a blockade around it, so no one could see or buy the books. Then they started aggressively leaning back on the table, pushing against the book displays. By blocking access to the book, they were essentially trying to ban it.
This shameful incident reflects a wider phenomenon on American campuses. At university, students should learn to think, to engage with different views, and thus to grow intellectually. But increasingly, students learn to put their feelings above facts. Some students demand to be protected from what they merely believe, without evidence, are uncongenial views. They demand that non-orthodox views be silenced. And such universities as UCLA willingly coddle and appease them.
The universities, observes Steve Simpson in Defending Free Speech, are a bellwether of the future of freedom of speech. If today’s students are increasingly hostile to intellectual freedom, can we really expect tomorrow’s voters, lawyers, judges, politicians to uphold free speech? To champion that principle, you have to value dialogue, knowledge, and, ultimately, the reasoning mind. Yet reason is precisely what those student agitators subordinated to their emotions.
Read more at the link above.