Category Archives: freedom of expression

Oxford University bans free speech magazine as “offensive”

The Torygraph and The Independent report further restriction of free speech (not a “constitutional” guarantee in the UK)—this time at Oxford. And once again, it involves a student union, the OUSU, which has banned a magazine called “No Offence” from the Freshers’ Fair. The grounds? Because the magazine is offensive. From The Independent: The magazine aims […]

Pope implicitly supports Kim Davis’s refusal to grant marriage licenses to gays

Let us not forget that although the Pope has great p.r. and hits all the right notes with the American public, he still adheres to the Church’s doctrine that homosexual acts are “grave sins.” And he claims that any exercise of religion in the public sphere is a “right” that cannot be abrogated. According to NBC […]

A lovely move: Brian Cox, Ben Goldacre, and other science notables go after Warwick University for “no-platforming” Maryam Namazie

If former Christians who are nonbelievers were to be barred from speaking at an American or British University because they planned to criticize the tenets of evangelical Christianity—including opposition to evolution, women’s right, or gay rights—secularists would rise up in anger. Imagine, for instance, Jerry DeWitt or Dan Barker being barred from speaking at the University of […]

Two pieces on the necessity of free speech

It’s hard to get two people more different in background than my Chicago colleague and law professor Geoff Stone and former basketball great (and subsequently actor, filmmaker, author, and cultural ambassador) Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. Yet they agree on one thing: college students need free speech and the opportunity to have their ideas challenged in courses. And both have just written pieces […]

Nick Cohen on Britain’s hypocritical students

This is just to call your attention to another article defending free speech by the wonderful Nick Cohen: a Spectator piece called “Britain’s hypocritical universities are naked before their enemies“. It was written after Cohen participated in a Guardian-sponsored debate on free speech at King’s College London. The audience was apparently outraged by the British government’s […]

Ex-Muslim Maryam Namazie refused platform at Warwick University because criticizing Islam is “hate speech”

Well, British universities are up to their usual anti-free-thought shenanigans again. This time it took the form of Warwick University’s Student Union refusing to allow Maryam Namazie to speak. Namazie, an Iranian-born ex-Muslim who runs or is active in several organizations that promote human rights and offer resources for ex-Muslims, was invited to talk by the University’s Atheist […]

The University of California threatens freedom of expression

Over at his Washington Post site “The Volikh conspiracy”, UCLA law professor and First Amendment specialist Eugene Volokh reproduced and analyzed a new document up for consideration next Thursday by the Regents of the University of California. If adopted, this will become official policy, and it’s worrisome. (The official document is here, and I’ve put it below (my emphases): […]

Canadian scientist suspended, investigated after writing song criticizing the prime minister

Below is a song critical of Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper (head of the Conservative Party), who’s famous for his dire environmental policies. As Wikipedia notes (and I’ll add the links): The Conservative Party of Canada has made significant budget cuts to Environment Canada, leading to criticism that it is undermining the ability of departmental staff […]

Quote of the day: Nick Cohen

Nick Cohen is an outspoken critic of those Western liberals who cower and dissimulate before extreme Islam. Here’s a bit of his new Guardian piece on a recent talk in London by Rafidya Bonya Ahmed, a secular blogger who survived a brutal attack by Muslims with meat cleavers. She was badly cut up and lost a thumb, but also […]

Harvard and MIT get “Muzzle Awards” for denying free speech

This tw**t from Steve Pinker called my attention to two Boston universities (one my alma mater, though it’s the Law School that was shamed) which received “2015 Campus Muzzle Awards” from WGBH, Boston’s Public Broadcasting station. They’re given to those individuals and institutions who most blatantly diminish free speech (go to the bottom of the page to see […]


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