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MPACUK: Jewish lobbyists blocks university debate

July 1, 2012

Sunday, December 11. 2005

“Bomb threats” have forced Westminster University, London, to cancel today’s conference organised by the Muslim Public Affairs Committee UK (MPACUK) according to an inside University source.

According to MPACUK, the source revealed that bomb threats and intimidatory phone calls from unknown persons claiming to be “Zionists” was the reason behind the cancellation.

MPACUK, who were ready to stage the public debate “The Truth about Zionism”; with Alan Hart as guest speaker, author of the new book: Zionism: The Real Enemy Of The Jews, have themselves received abusive calls from the said “Zionists” with death threats for promoting Hart.

Westminster issued a press release on Wednesday stating their contractual right to cancel any room booking that contravened their policies. According to them: “The room booking was granted in the belief that it was a University alumna holding a book launch. In fact, the event centres on an author with no connection to the University.”

Chris Hogwood, Westminster’s Media Officer, said, “We thought it was specifically for an alumni. But, it turns out that it’s not, even though the person concerned is involved in the organisation.”

The University’s Student Union President Charlene Allen informed Asghar Bukhari, head of MPACUK, of a complaint made against Hart’s book “promoting hatred” by the Union of Jewish Students (UJS), which resulted in the cancellation. This was confirmed by the Rob Watson, the Student Union’s communication officer, that “a Jewish group had put in a complaint”, although he was uncertain which group. Charlene Allen was unavailable to comment.

Hogwood initially denied receiving any death threats and complaints. However, when he was informed of the Student Union President’s assertion, responded, “I believe they did, but action had been taken by that point anyway.”

The UJS’ press officer, Mitch Simons, confirmed the complaint directly, but gave an alternative reason.

“We alerted the University of the NUS (National Union of Students) no plat-form policy and MPAC are on the NUS no plat-form policy.”

According to Simons, who also works for the NUS, the no-platform policy is to “ensure the rights and safety of all students”. Any group that “intimidates students or makes them feel uncomfortable” are not given a platform to speak and cited the BNP as an example of such a group. He pointed to literature on MPAC’s website which the NUS found unacceptable resulting in the ban.

Hogwood confirmed that the no-platform policy was, “certainly a contributing factor towards the University’s concern over the MPACUK event”.

Asghar Bukhari summarised the course of events stating, “Basically what’s happened is quite simple, either they’ve had death threats or calls from the UJS.

We’re getting the University telling us death threats, the President of the Student Union saying it’s the UJS. And now, to cover themselves, they’ve told us it’s something else.”

He went on to say that it was the action of the “pro-Israeli lobby” that pressurised Westminster into cancelling the event.

“What is so upsetting is that Westminster University have buckled without even bothering to speak to us to ask if this is true or not, [or] is there any assertions against the book.

The UJS, we all know, worked behind the motion to get us banned. It was because of a blocked vote by the UJS.”

MPACUK, however, refused to be intimidated and reiterated on their website: “We will not succumb to violence, we are not scared, and we will not surrender our freedoms to your thugs. You may have silenced others, but MPACUK is not for turning.”

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