25 July 2016

Flemming Rose speaking invite withdrawn by Cape Town

.... presence on campus of Danish journalist who commissioned Muhammad cartoons could 'retard rather than advance academic freedom'.

The University of Cape Town has withdrawn an invite to a speaker who was set to give its annual TB Davie Academic Freedom Lecture for fear of security risks and the possibility of provoking conflict and further polarisation on campus.

The university rescinded the invitation to Flemming Rose, who as culture editor of the Danish newspaper Jyllands-Posten commissioned cartoons depicting the Prophet Muhammad that some Muslims considered blasphemous. The publication of the cartoons in 2005 triggered widespread protests and riots across the Muslim world, some of which turned deadly.

In withdrawing the invitation, Cape Town’s vice-chancellor, Max Price, invoked the language of “safe spaces” and asserted that bringing Rose to campus for his scheduled August talk “might retard rather than advance academic freedom on campus”. [Times Higher Education] Read more