Jewish Students Among Minorities ‘Bludgeoned Into Acceptance of Islamo-Marxist Political Orthodoxy’ at London U’s School of Oriental and African Studies
Jewish and pro-Israel students at the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) at London University have become a persecuted minority at an institution that prides itself on cultural and religious diversity, a British academic said in an op-ed in Life Spectator.
Adrian Hilton, academic chairman of the Thatcher Center, contended that that the environment at SOAS has become one in which minorities are “intimidated into self-censorship” and “bludgeoned into the acceptance of Islamo-Marxist political orthodoxy.” As a result, he wrote, today he’d “think twice before…send[ing] one of my young students there.”
Hilton described a conversation he had with a Hindu scholar at SOAS, who said that the school used to be a vibrant academic establishment packed with students of all minorities roaming the halls. But today, he claimed, “The corridor is quite lifeless..it’s now a very different place.”
“It’s very Muslim-dominant — you can see it all around,” the scholar told Hilton. “You walk into the common room when it’s busy and you feel like you’re in an Arab institution. Before, I didn’t feel a part of the minority because no one was in a minority or a majority: everyone was different and you got to know all sorts of people. But now I do… uncomfortably feel a little like a cautious kafir.”
One example Hilton provided was a multi-faith prayer room that now only shows posters for Islamic events. Those who use the room, he wrote, “are expected to conform to Islamic precepts.”
Earlier this year, SOAS sponsored an “Israel Apartheid Week,” during which anti-Israel students constructed an “apartheid wall” and “went around menacing their fellow students with fake machine guns.” The event culminated in a vote in favor of an academic boycott against Israel, which, according to Hilton, “was made with the endorsement of the school’s academic staff.” In one instance of reprisal against those who did not support the boycott, an Israeli student was ejected from the anti-Zionist Israeli Society for “having the temerity to oppose the boycott,” he wrote.
Anti-Israel activity at SOAS does not only extend to its academic boycott of Israel, wrote Hilton. On April 6, when word leaked that the school’s director was privately meeting with Israeli Ambassador to the UK Mark Regev, “[T]he student reaction on Facebook was savage: ‘She knows she brings shame to SOAS’; ‘Regev is an abhorrent racist’; ‘Who the hell meets a vile Zionist terrorist who defends the mass murder of children?’” Hilton wrote. A protest was organized and an angry mob assembled outside the director’s office.
According to SOAS Jewish Society President Moselle Paz Solis, “We are too scared to go anywhere so we walk in a group to the station. People come up to me and say I heard you hate Palestinians.”
“There is little or no tolerance for anyone who objects to the demonization of Israel and the casual visitor could be forgiven for thinking that only one religion is tolerated on campus,” Hilton concluded, calling it “quite sad” that SOAS has morphed into a “regressive institution” that “wallow[s] in… anti-Israel delusions, while turning a blind eye to the world’s most repressive regimes.”