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Senate Inquiry on Academic Freedom: Why genocide studies proliferate in our universities

Senate hearing opening remarks …the underlying agenda of the academic field of “genocide studies” is not the study of genocide, let alone its analysis or prevention. It is to argue that our own society and those like it, that is, Britain and the United States, are every bit as bad as Nazi Germany, Stalinist Russia and Maoist China. The old moral equivalence argument from the Cold War is alive and well in genocide studies. Let me quote from the 2001 edition of the academic journal Aboriginal History, whose editors, Ann Curthoys and John Docker of the Australian National University wrote: “Settler-colonies like ‘Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Argentina, the United States, and Canada’ led the way in setting out to achieve what the Nazis also set out to achieve, the displacement of indigenous populations and their replacement by incoming peoples held to be racially superior.” Curthoys and Docker are here quoting a claim by former Professor Ward Churchill of the University of Colorado … See also: Aboriginal History ‘a live political issue’

Dissent intolerable

Academics in the field of terrorism studies at two Australian universities have responded to a critique of their work by Dr Mervyn Bendle in Quadrant’s September edition by trying to close down debate and punish its author. They have approached Bendle’s employers at James Cook University in Townsville to recommend he be investigated for academic misconduct and suitability for academic employment. Within a week of the publication of Bendle’s article, the left-wing academics he criticised approached the JCU Vice-Chancellor, Professor Sandra Harding, to take action against him and suggested his head of department, Professor Richard Lansdown, re-think Bendle’s fitness as a university-employed scholar. At the same they also demanded the September edition of Quadrant be recalled and pulped, and that Quadrant Online remove the article in question from the internet. These actions represent disturbing developments not only for academic freedom but also national security.