Stop the presses! The Guardian has just discovered “” get this “” that academics are hampering anti-terror efforts! This article adds, quite correctly, of course, that not only are they “fundamentally hostile to the UK’s security services,” but they also generally purvey a whitewashed and misleading view of Islam that gives students no idea why terrorism arises from such a glorious cultural environnment “” expect, of course, because of the wickedness of America and Israel.
University academics are hampering efforts to defend western democracy against Islamist threats because they are fundamentally hostile to the UK’s security services, according to a leading professor.
Anthony Glees, Brunel University’s professor of politics and author of previous research suggesting dozens of UK academics acted as agents for the east German secret police, Stasi, will risk inflaming the academic establishment by warning in a lecture today that universities are nurturing a political culture deeply sceptical over the role of British intelligence agencies.
Addressing the prestigious political studies association meeting at Lincoln University, Professor Glees will claim that academic attitudes shaped in the 1960s through opposition to the Vietnam war have blighted the work of the agencies both in tackling old-style security threats during the cold war, and in fighting the new “war on terror”.
In his paper, published in today’s Times Higher Education Supplement, Professor Glees – who is director of the centre for intelligence and security studies at Brunel – says: “There is still a marked suspicion of professional security activities, even in the defence of liberal democracy… Some senior members of Britain’s diplomatic community and more than a few members of Britain’s academic community believe that security and intelligence services do not provide the answer to the problem but are, in fact, its cause.”
Academics are mainly “hostile to the idea of intervention in international affairs and have, since 1980, harboured strong suspicions of American motives”.
Professor Glees will also claim that political correctness makes it difficult for academics to attack Islamic fundamentalism or oppose student societies that demand the destruction of western society, if they wish to do so.
The extent to which radical Islamic ideas are brewing in UK universities will “come as shock” to people in years to come, he said.
Professor Paul Rogers, of Bradford University’s peace studies department, yesterday argued it was the duty of academics to remain independent of “what appear to be the interests of the state”.
He said: “I would have thought that to some extent what you are depending on from academics is not only high levels of integrity but also independence of mind, giving the ability to propose solutions that governments would not necessarily expect.”
The government might have done well to consider some of the alternative solutions presented by academics to the issue of Islamic fundamentalism before turning to a problematic war on Iraq, he said.