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David Irving: Invited to Oxford Union to debate Freedom of Speech

Historians in the News




The Oxford Union debating society came under fire last night after its president said he had approached Holocaust denier David Irving, British National party chairman Nick Griffin and the Belarussian dictator, Alexander Lukoshenko, to speak at forthcoming events.
Luke Tryl said he had asked Mr Irving and Mr Griffin to speak at the union's Free Speech Forum, due to take place at the end of November, adding that Mr Lukoshenko, the Belarussian president, accused of a string of human rights abuses, had been approached to address students later in the term.

"The Oxford Union is famous for is commitment to free speech and although I do think these people have awful and abhorrent views I do think Oxford students are intelligent enough to challenge and ridicule them," he told the Guardian, adding that no formal decision on who would be invited had been made.

However, the move drew widespread criticism from student groups and anti-fascist campaigners.

In a joint statement, Oxford Jewish Society presidents Daniel Bloch and Steven Altmann-Richer said: "It will be a disgrace if these discredited speakers are allowed a platform at a forum on free speech. They have an embarrassing history of disregard for legal restrictions on it. It will certainly go down as a black mark on the reputation of the Oxford Union."...
Read entire article at Guardian

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