WHAT IS HAPPENING TO ACADEMIC FREEEDOM IN EUROPE AND AMERICA IN THE FACE OF CONFLICT BETWEEN ISRAEL AND HAMAS?

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Universities in Europe and America have been regarded as places for the exercise of academic freedom which entails freedom from arbitrary censorship by those who control political or financial power. It is such academic freedom that has enabled such universities to attract lecturers and students from all over the world in order transfer knowledge of universal value.

Undoubtedly the students must come different backgrounds and may hold different opinions on issues of diverse nature, especially on matters of conflict.

It is increasingly becoming clear that university presidents and vice chancellors are being subjected to pressure by political figures and financiers in order to promote their opinions as rules of engagement for their students and lecturers. Legislative tyranny being imposed by calling university presidents before committees of legislators asking them to give opinions and opinionated questions which only reflect the prejudices of those who raise them.

These universities are serving people from all over the world. As soon as they operate to satisfy the whims and caprices of their legislators and individual financial donors they are bound to isolate many people at home and other parts of the world. That would be the beginning of the end of those universities serving as universal centres of learning. That would be the greatest crime against academic freedom.