Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Australian professor warns research with Israelis could offend Muslims

From the University of Sydney:

The Office of Deputy Vice-Chancellor, International will be hosting the University of Sydney- Israel Research Partnership Forum: “Shared Challenges, Future Solutions” on 31 October 2011. The Forum brings together academics from the University of Sydney and leading Israeli institutions to discuss research innovations in key thematic areas including medicine; water, food and agriculture; pedagogy of teaching second languages and Dead Sea Scrolls; energy and information technology. The aim of the Forum is to acknowledge and develop new research collaborations in areas of mutual national and global concern.

Date: Monday, 31st October 2011
Time: 9.00am to 5.45pm
Location: Theatre 101, New Law School Building Annex, Camperdown Campus
Cost: Free

An associate professor at the university and self-styled expert on "peace journalism" thinks this is a bad idea - because it might offend Muslims:

UNIVERSITY of Sydney scholars set to exchange ideas with visiting Israeli experts on neuroscience, tissue regeneration and other cutting-edge research areas are being warned the event will offend potential Muslim undergraduates.

Associate Professor Jake Lynch, director of the university's Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies, has urged his colleagues to withdraw from the research gathering, and the university administration to cancel it.
Not surprisingly, Lynch is a supporter of BDS - and a purveyor of bizarre "Jewish lobby"-style conspiracy theories.

But usually when he attacks Israel he represents his position as being his own. Here, he seems to be pretending that this is the position of the Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies.

And even though Lynch is a strident critic of Israel, note how he is framing the argument - that potential Muslim students would avoid applying to the university because they are so offended!

Which means that, by his logic, if any potential students at U of S may be offended by anti-Zionism as well as by illogical arguments from a member of the faculty, then the university is duty-bound to fire him.

(h/t sophie)