A story in today’s Times (£) furnishes the third in my occasional series of Loony Lefty Libels. These are statements which fly in the face of reason, are presented nevertheless as rational and true by mainstream commentators and are likely to promote irrational hatred, prejudice or even violence.
The victim in today’s example is an Edinburgh university law student, Robbie Travers. He is being accused of committing a “hate crime” by posting on social media, after the US Air Force dropped a “massive ordnance air bomb” on an Isis stronghold in Afghanistan last April: “Excellent news that the US administration and Trump ordered an accurate strike on an IS network of tunnels in Afghanistan. I’m glad we could bring these barbarians a step closer to collecting their 72 virgins.”
This provoked history student Esme Allman, the former black and ethnic minority convenor of the university’s students’ association, to file a complaint to the university, saying: “Not only do I believe this behaviour to be in breach of the student code of conduct, but his decision to target the BME Liberation Group at the University of Edinburgh, and how he has chosen to do so, puts minority students at risk and in a state of panic and fear while attending the University of Edinburgh.”
In another Facebook post, Mr Travers wrote: “I won’t give elements of Islam or Muslims who hold regressive beliefs a free pass for their assorted poisonous bigotries and regressive values because they face bigotry. If you have terrible, oppressive views that seek to attack the rights of others, expect to be called out for those views, regardless of being oppressed yourself… ”
Mr Travers has also aroused controversy for his comments on gender issues. In a Facebook post he wrote: “If I die from a stress-induced heart attack, you will all know it is from dealing with criminally moronic intersectional nonsense. Having a preference of what genitals your sexual partner has is now declared ‘transphobic’.”
Ms Allman, who describes herself as a feminist and “womanist”, says: “While I have not met him personally, given my matriculation at the University of Edinburgh, my membership of the Black and Minority Ethnic Liberation Group at the university, and how I identify personally, I take issue with this clear and persistent denigration and disparagement of protected characteristics and blatant Islamophobia.”
Mr Travers has given voice to views shared by countless millions of decent, rational people around the world. He is standing up against the bullying and intimidation, inversion of truth reason and victimhood, and brazen hijacking of language itself that characterise today’s totalitarian leftists. For this they are punishing him, thus demonstrating once again just what a menace they are.
And they are aided in this by the pusillanimity of those in authority. Edinburgh University says it is investigating the complaints of misconduct against Mr Travers. It should have dismissed them and instead be disciplining Ms Allman for harassment and her assault on the cardinal principle of a university: the unthreatened dissemination of ideas.