Bristol University Islamic Society demands swift action over ‘Islamophobic’ remarks

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Nearly 2,500 people have signed a petition urging the University of Bristol to take swift action against Law School Professor Steven Greer due to his alleged “use of discriminatory remarks and Islamophobic comments.”

petition started on Change.org by The University of Bristol Islamic Society (BRISOC) says that “the university has not held Professor Greer accountable nor taken the concerns of Muslim students seriously.”

The petition says that law students reported that “Professor Greer frequently expresses views in his classes that can be deemed Islamophobic, bigoted and divisive.”

For example, BRISOC says that Professor Greer provided justification for the Chinese government policy of targeting Uyghur Muslims by stating that “if a particular piece of legislation impacts disproportionately against a group, it looks ‘superficially’ like it is discrimination […] this is the case with China and Muslims in re-education camps.”

They claim he expanded on this by saying that “most difficulties [in reference to the Uyghur’s plight] stem from the Islamic influence upon it.”

Greer has reportedly used the Charlie Hebdo attack as “evidence of Islam’s stance on freedom of speech” which BRISOC view as “an example of the kind of Islamophobic rhetoric that aims to posit the actions of killers as being representative of the entire Muslim community and Islam.”

Professor Steven Greer

And when asked in a video if the Prevent Duty is “racist, Islamophobic and discriminatory,” Greer responded: “The Prevent strategy includes all forms of terrorism but the fact that most of those that had come to its attention are Muslims is simply a reflection that jihadi terrorism is the principal terrorist threat that the UK currently faces.”

BRISOC is demanding that Professor Steven Greer apologises to all Muslim students, “making it clear that his remarks are an opinion, rather than objective truth.” They also demand that “material is removed from his teaching and the module” and “a firm commitment [is made] from him to not make such statements in future teaching.”

If these demands are not met, BRISOC asks that the University consider “further disciplinary action, including suspension and/or dismissal.”

Professor Greer denies the allegations but has not commented on the matter due to an ongoing investigation.

A University of Bristol spokesperson said: “We are working with the University’s Islamic Society to respond to concerns raised about an individual member of staff. That process is still ongoing and under review and as such we are unable to comment further. We are in regular contact with the Society and the member of staff during this time.

“We are committed to making our University an inclusive place for all students. As part of our focus on this, we have been working closely with students from minority groups to try and understand their specific concerns and worries. A key outcome from these discussions was the adoption of the All Parliamentary Party Group definition of Islamophobia and the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) working definition of antisemitism.

“We seek at all times to abide by both our Free Speech Policy and our Public Sector Equality Duties. Specifically, we are steadfast in our commitment to freedom of speech and to the rights of all our students and staff to discuss difficult and sensitive topics.”

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