Hate breeds hate. Who knew?

Extremists on British campuses are making students' lives a misery, a recent study shows. Raheem Kassam says it's got to stop.

Campus 'hate' incidents must be stamped out
On 1 June 2011 11:18

On most occasions, universities excuse their hosting of Islamists and anti-Semites by invoking the ideals of "freedom of speech’". But divisive, hate-filled, often illegal rhetoric is tearing campuses apart, and freedoms should be scarcely awarded to those who seek to infringe on the liberty of others.

A report by the National Union of Students vindicates the position that I have taken on many an occasion in the past with regard to hate-speech and related incidents on campuses and how they promote an environment not conducive to social cohesion, good mental health and most importantly, education across the United Kingdom.

The hefty study involving nearly 10,000 students revealed that 40 percent of respondents had been subjected to a form of anti-social behaviour or crime while studying at their current institution – a harrowing statistic that should distress university management across the UK.

Sixteen percent of the respondents (1,441 students) experienced at least one form of hate incident while studying – 30 percent of these were thought to be based on race, while 19 percent are thought to be based on religious prejudices.

In almost a quarter of the 1,441 hate incidents, the victim reported consequent mental health problems – a clear indictment of universities who allow hate-preachers onto campuses to rail against women, homosexuals, Jews and pretty much every other kind of “infidel”.

Forty-three percent of homosexual men stated that they had been a victim of a hate-incident due to their sexual orientation. When you have people like Abu Usamah ath-Thahabi touring campuses telling students to, “throw [homosexuals] off the mountain,” – it is little wonder the figures are so high.

Authorities must seriously consider what they wish universities to stand for. Is it the case, as one London-based Vice Chancellor has gone so far as to say, that “radicalisation can be a good thing”, since we were all once a little radical?

Or can we come back down to Earth for a moment and realise that our taxpayer funded institutions are being leveraged by enemies of liberty and democracy to proselytise and recruit for their diabolical goals?

It is interesting to note who is most at risk from hate on campuses. In terms of ethnicity, 30 percent of those targeted were Chinese, 19 percent were Asian, 15 percent were Black and 13 percent were mixed race. White “other”, White Irish and White British also accounted for 11, six and three percent respectively.

Of those persecuted for the religion, 31 percent were Jewish, 17 percent were Muslim and 13 percent were Sikh. The fact that Jewish students encounter nearly double the religiously motivated hatred that Muslim students do is indicative of the flow of anti-Semitic speakers utilising the anti-Semitic conflation of being Jewish, Israeli and/or a Zionist to target Jewish students. Buddhists, Hindus, Christians, Atheists and “Others” account for less than 10 percent each.

We can conclude from this preliminary report, that campuses are indeed dangerous places. Incidents such as those reported adversely affect students not just while studying, but in a way that shapes the rest of their lives. Problems resulting from hate-incidents include 23 percent of students’ reporting that their mental health had been affected, while 11 percent of victims report an impact on their studies, seven percent on their physical health and a worrying, 17 percent report that their acceptance of other social groups is negatively affected.

To compound this, over 50 percent of students felt anger after hate-incidents, with annoyance, feelings of vulnerability, loss of confidence, anxiety, shock and fear all following closely.

A serious lesson that must be learnt from this well-researched report is that hate fuels hate and breeds suffering for hundreds of thousands of students across the country. With approximately 2.5 million students in higher education in the UK, a 16 percent rate means nearly 400,000 will potentially experience at least one form of hate incident during their studies.

University authorities must stop their incessant abdication of responsibility towards their students and their studies or allow organisations who are willing to address such problems a greater role in campus monitoring.

Hiding behind “freedom of speech” is senseless when those freedoms are used to abuse and target young, impressionable students.

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