Academic Freedom and Holocaust Denial





A Pennsylvania English professor whose anti-Israel rhetoric and denial of the Holocaust as a historic certainty have ignited controversy is citing academic freedom as his defense.

Kaukab Siddique, associate professor of English and journalism at Lincoln University of Pennsylvania, appeared last month at a pro-Palestinian rally in Washington, where he called the state of Israel illegitimate. “I say to the Muslims, ‘Dear brothers and sisters, unite and rise up against this hydra-headed monster which calls itself Zionism,’ ” he said at a rally on Sept. 3. “Each one of us is their target and we must stand united to defeat, to destroy, to dismantle Israel -- if possible by peaceful means,” he added.

While many professors engage in anti-Israel rhetoric, Siddique is getting more scrutiny because his September comments prompted critics to unearth past statements that the Holocaust was a “hoax” intended to buttress support for Israel -- a position that the professor didn’t dispute in an interview Monday with Inside Higher Ed.

Siddique maintained that his comments should be placed in the framework of academic freedom, as an example of a questing mind asking tough questions. He also warned of dire consequences if universities can be intimidated by politicians and outside commentators. “That’s freedom of expression going up the smokestack here,” he said....



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