Not a single one was free. “Jews but no Muslims at Racism Conference,” from The Jewish Chronicle, June 27:
The first conference to compare antisemitism and Islamophobia in Europe was held in London this week “” but without any Muslim speakers.
Now, we all now that it’s only the “radical” Muslims who exhibit animosity and intolerance towards Jews; so why did Muslim academics””they who most insist that Islam teaches “coexistence” and “dialogue–”eschew this opportunity? Perhaps they didn’t want to discuss the “differences,” the main one being well represented by the Greek words “anti” (-Semitism) and (Islamo-) “phobia”: the former denoting general opposition to something, the latter, fear of something.
The aim of the conference, held at University College, was to explore the “connections, commonalities and differences between” antisemitism and Islamophobia from both geographical and historical perspectives.
A worthy and objective endeavor””the latter element perhaps being behind Muslim reticence to participate?
But the organisers failed to find any Muslim academics who were free to participate.
Key word: “free.” To be sure, many a Muslim, academic or otherwise, is not “free to participate” in any number of things.
Co-organiser James Renton, senior lecturer at Edge Hill and honorary research fellow in the Department of Hebrew and Jewish Studies at UCL, said: “It surprised me, as we put things together, how really tough it was to find people working in this area doing academic research. There were Muslims who wanted to come on board but they couldn’t, for one reason or another.
Brother words to “couldn’t–””wouldn’t” and “shouldn’t–”would have probably better captured the meaning here.