Earlier this month Mr S brought you the news that students at LSE were attempting to ban a free-speech society. Now some lovely folk at the National Union of Students have a new target in their sights: Hope Not Hate.
Yes, the founder of the advocacy group — which claims to campaign ‘to counter racism and fascism’ — claims he has been accused of… Islamophobia. Nick Lowles — who previously edited anti-fascist magazine Searchlight — says that NUS students are campaigning against a plan to invite him to speak at an anti-racism event on the basis that he is ‘Islamophobic’.
Given that the Hope Not Hate founder claims to have worked to tackle bias against Muslims, the accusation of ‘Islamophobia’ appears particularly bizarre. In fact, back in December Hope Not Hate released a report into the ‘Counter-Jihad movement’, listing critics of Islamic extremism and describing them as anti-Muslim. After the report was published, the Jewish Chronicle published an editorial describing its publication as ‘dangerous’, accusing the group of engaging in the ‘politics of hatred – by smear’. The report has since been taken down online.
Mr S has contacted an NUS spokesman for comment.
Update: NUS president Megan Dunn says that no Hope Not Hate members are currently on the ‘no platform’ list:
‘Hope Not Hate is not on NUS’ no platform list. I would happily share a platform with anyone from Hope Not Hate tomorrow. Representatives from Hope Not Hate, including Nick Lowles, have and continue to be invited to NUS events. I have tried to clarify this issue with Mr Lowles but have been unable to contact him.’