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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.