A panel discussion addressing the integration of Muslims in Europe, scheduled to be held at the London School of Economics on Monday, was canceled after the school said it could not provide adequate security for planned student protests.

A group of mainly German LSE students and academics opposed the decision by the school’s German Society to invite two sharp critics of political Islam and Germany’s integration policies: Thilo Sarrazin, a former member of the executive board of the Deutsche Bundesbank and a former head of finance for the State of Berlin, and Henryk M. Broder, a well-known German-Jewish journalist.

The protesters circulated a petition headlined “Integration instead of clash of the cultures.”

A spokesman for the university told The Jerusalem Post on Tuesday that as it could not guarantee protests being peaceful and that extra security would be needed to stop largescale disruption, hence the event was moved off campus.

The German Society, one of the largest and most active such groups at LSE and one of the largest German student groups outside Germany, hosted the event, “Europe’s Future: The Decline of the West.”

Sarrazin authored last year’s best-selling Germany Abolishes Itself, which dissected flawed integration policies in the Federal Republic.

Broder said at the event: “You in England have long since begun to do away with yourselves. Your top bishop has already called for the introduction of Shari’a law.”

Sarrazin has referred to Muslims as “dunces” and said that Jews all “share a certain gene.”

After an outcry by students, the university canceled the event and informed the German Society that it could not host it on campus.

Jonathan Hoffman, co-vice chairman of the UK’s Zionist Federation, told the Post on Tuesday that by canceling Sarrazin’s talk while allowing speakers such as Al-Quds Al-Arabi editor Abdel Bari Atwan to go ahead – with anti- Semitic content – “LSE is being craven and utterly hypocritical.”

The Gaza-born Atwan spoke at LSE last year.

Speaking about Iran’s nuclear capability on Lebanese television in 2007, he said: “If the Iranian missiles strike Israel, by Allah, I will go to Trafalgar Square and dance with delight.”

In 2006, Atwan was quoted by the BBC as saying that the events of September 11, 2001, “will be remembered as the end of the US empire.”

Responding to the criticism from protesters about the alleged anti-Semitic statement from Sarrazin, Hoffman said the statement that Jews share a particular gene was not wholly accurate.


“One, because it is possible to convert to Judaism and because not all Jews share a particular gene. But certainly some do. That was shown by, for example, peer-group reviewed DNA research by Dr. Karl Skorecki which showed that the same array of chromosomal markers was found in 97 of 106 Kohens tested.

Sarrazin’s statement may have been inaccurate, but it certainly was not anti-Semitic. Anyone who says it was is plain wrong.”

Raheem Kassam, director of Student Rights, a London-based organization that tackles extremism on campuses, said, “It is disappointing that the LSE canceled the event only on the threat of disruption and a lack of resources. They should be tackling the real issue of intolerance and hatred.”

He added that “if mob rule is all it takes to shut down a speech, it is easy to see how freedoms may not be protected, but extremist speakers may still use the university as a platform if enough people fail to protest.”

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