But not always. Our Czech correspondent JM sends this report about the cancellation of a Islamization debate on Monday night for politically correct reasons.
Czech University Bans Islamism Debate
“Perils of Islamisation in CZ” was to be the title of a debate scheduled at the Prague School of Economics (VSE) for 3rd October. Its Student Society organised it jointly with the civic association Antimesita (anti-mosque) recently established in the Bohemian city of Hradec Kralove as a citizen protest against the construction of a local mosque. The association has the support of the city council, from whom it has received a small grant. The mosque construction has for the moment been halted, pending appeals.
The Prague debate was banned on short notice, and some panelists were told only upon arrival at the venue. The reason for the ban appears to have been a letter to the VSE Chancellor from an Islamologist scholar at the Academy of Sciences warning against “religious hatred on academic soil”, accusing the panelists of “the most debased level of interest in Islam” and labeling the debate, had it taken place, “an unfortunate precedent”.
The panelists scheduled to speak included Roman Joch, the Prime Minister’s advisor on human rights, and biology professor Martin Konvicka. The latter also acts as first-instance “saviour” to Czech female Muslim converts-turned-apostates, one whom was also to take part in the debate, describing details of Muslim family life. There are now several dozen of them, mostly from marriages to foreign Muslims, and some of them claim their lives have been threatened.
The Czech Muslim population numbers officially 11,000, mostly immigrants but including a fair number of converts. Accusations have been mounting of Saudi influence and shady financial support.
The VSE Chancellor later claimed the ban had nothing to do with the Islamologist’s letter, but had never been allowed in the first place because the students had not followed proper application procedures. This the students deny, claiming all procedures had been followed correctly, the debate had been widely publicised, and the names of the panelists known a month in advance.
“Academic soil is a space for free debate which should never be silenced,” was the reaction of Education Minister Josef Dobes. “All attempts at weakening freedom of opinion and exchange of dialogue have always led to totalitarianism.”
The event is to be followed up and publicly debated by the recently-formed Czech branch of the International Free Press Society.