In a world often devoid of good news, there has been a fine development on the farthest-flung shores of insanity. The British National Union of Students aspires to represent students, though traditionally tends only to represent those students who are politically ambitious and possess left wing views. In any case, its latest idiocy is that it has tied itself in knots over the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria – Isis.
A condemnation of the ebullient Islamic group was tabled by a student of Kurdish descent. The Kurds, some people will recall, have not been treated well by Isis of late. Of course such a motion would be fairly pointless. It is unlikely that even one Isis fighter will be persuaded to put down their meat-cleaver because the British NUS has passed a motion against them, however strongly-worded.
But sometimes the symbolism of things matters. It would have been nice if the NUS – which has done so much in recent years to smear and otherwise attack the critics of Islamic extremism – could have found it within itself to condemn Isis. But they didn’t manage it. Specifically, they didn’t manage it because, as student officer reported on his blog, the Black Students officer Malia Bouattia declared that the condemnation of Isis consisted of ‘blatant Islamophobia’, and was a shill for ‘pro USA intervention’ to boot.
In fact the motion – which you can read in full here – is absurdly weakly worded, and rather typically over-heavy on its anti-Americanism. But not enough so for Ms Bouattia and the Black Students section of the NUS, who have now succeeded in stopping any condemnation of the most racist, sectarian group of our time.
As I have often said, the word and charge of ‘Islamophobia’ really is deadly. Today it is deadliest of all for the Kurds, the Christians, the Shia and the Yazidis of Iraq and Syria.
The Spectator is holding a debate ‘Iraq and Syria are lost causes: intervention can’t help’ at 7pm on Wednesday 22 October at Church House, SW1. Speakers for the motion will include John Redwood and Patrick Cockburn, and against, Douglas Murray, Ed Husain and General The Lord Dannatt. Chairing the debate will be Andrew Neil. For tickets and further information, click here.