Academics have spoken out against censorship in universities on the issue of radical gender ideology. They say any attempts to discuss the far-reaching implications of possible changes to legislation see them branded ‘transphobic’.They believe some censorship is a result of universities trying to be politically correct, while at other times it is coming from student activists. Selina Todd, vice-principal of St Hilda’s College, Oxford, says she has been threatened by students who say they will campaign to have her removed from her position, something she called “intimidating and isolating”. She said: “The view of these activists is that anyone who feels themselves to be a woman should be allowed to call themselves such. Questioning that desire is seen as hate speech that could be harmful. To me that is censorship.”

 

Sunday's episode of the TV programme featured its first same-sex marriage, disappointing some and pleasing others. The wedding ceremony of Jamie Wallace and Ian McDowall at the Rutherglen United Reformed Church in Glasgow was filmed as part of an episode on faith and marriage.  It also included a couple where the husband was an atheist and the wife was a Christian. The episode has been praised by websites such as pink news and stonewall, with one author saying: "Places of worship should be safe spaces where we can bring every part of ourselves, but the exclusion I’ve felt in the past made me reluctant to bring my whole self to church."

 

The definition of Islamaphobia has been criticised by a Christian group, who say it could curtail free speech. Cross-party think tank Civitas have today released 'Islamophobia: An Anthology of Concerns', a book containing essays from contributors from a variety of religious and philosophical persuasions. Contributors include Richard Dawkins, Tim Dieppe from Christian Concern and Lord Singh of Wimbledon. Attempts to define 'Islamophobia' risk curtailing freedom of speech and hindering work intended to expose extremist activities, a new collection of essays warns, according to Christian Concern. The definition, which has been proposed by the All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on British Muslims is: "Islamophobia is rooted in racism and is a type of racism that targets expressions of Muslimness or perceived Muslimness." Tim Dieppe, Head of Public Policy at Christian Concern said: "This anthology shows the widespread concern about formalising a definition of Islamophobia. People from many different faith persuasions or none can all agree that free speech is one of the fundamental requirements of a free society.

 

WALTHAM, Massachusetts — Brandeis University said Wednesday it does not believe there’s a threat to campus safety after photos of several students and professors were posted to an anti-Semitic website. School safety officials are investigating after images from the university’s website appeared on the Vanguard News Network Forum, which promotes white nationalist views. The photos were posted in a thread containing hundreds of other images along with comments mocking the appearance of Jews.  The university issued a campus letter this week saying that the situation is “obviously disturbing” but that safety officials found “no direct threat” to Brandeis or those depicted in the photos. Campus officials say they will monitor the situation. Brandeis is a private, nonsectarian university that was founded on Jewish values. It enrolls about 6,000 students at its campus west of Boston.

 

Israel has recently carried out a series of airstrikes against Iranian-linked military targets in Iraq, two senior US officials told the New York Times on Friday. The officials said that Israel has carried out “several strikes in recent days on munitions storehouses for Iranian-backed groups in Iraq.” A senior Middle Eastern intelligence official said that Israel was also responsible for the July 19 strike on a military base north of Baghdad being used by Iran’s Revolutionary Guards to transport weapons to Syria. The official said this Israeli strike was launched from inside Iraq, though he did not provide further details. He said it destroyed a cache of guided missiles with a range of 200 kilometers (125 miles).