MK Miller: TAU allowed Salah to ‘brainwash’ students

Education panel head to propose bill that would stop Islamist cleric from speaking at universities again.

By
June 1, 2011 03:01
1 minute read.
Sheikh Raed Salah

Sheikh Raed Salah 311. (photo credit: Ben Hartman)

 
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Knesset Education Committee chairman MK Alex Miller (Israel Beiteinu) called for a stop to the “brainwashing” of university students, during an emergency meeting on Tuesday to discuss Sheikh Raed Salah’s speech at Tel Aviv University on May 24.

Miller said that he plans to propose a bill prohibiting anyone charged with aiding terrorist organizations from speaking in educational institutes without permission from the Justice Ministry.

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“Salah’s agenda is against the state, and he is calling on young people to join his battle,” Miller said.

Salah, the head of the Islamic Movement’s northern branch, called on Tuesday for the “liberation” of Jerusalem from Israeli authority, and criticized US President Barack Obama’s call for a Palestinian state on 1967 lines with land swaps, saying that such swaps would lead to the expulsion of Palestinians from their homes.

“Tel Aviv University is attacked by institutes of higher education abroad because we cooperate with the IDF,” said Prof. Ra’anan Rein, who represented the university in the meeting. “Now we’re accused of being unpatriotic.”

Rein said the university made “every effort to have freedom of expression, even of opinions that most of our students oppose.”

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“Tel Aviv University needs to be careful not to fall down a slippery slope,” in not allowing public figures to speak on campus, Rein said.

Miller retorted that “all the universities can have a contest, who invites the most extreme speakers, and then they can decide who had the most bleeding heart.”

“The message in inviting Raed Salah to speak is inappropriate, because it legitimizes his opinions,” Miller said.

A representative of the Council for Higher Education in Israel said that the council “did not tell the university not to invite Raed Salah. We tell institutions to use discretion – it’s not fitting for us to intervene.”

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