As the Daily Show put it: “Everyone who hates Everyone was there”
Of course, there were people there that do not hate everyone. This is the case with a Canadian Professor from St. Francis Xavier University in Antigonish, NS. The Professor presented a paper on how the Holocaust plays into the War on Terror obviously mistaking this conference for some sort of serious event. It is very disappointing to hear that the Professor made this judgement call and went to the conference. I do give credit to St. FX for condemning the conference but defending the right of the professor to attend the conference.
The professor is Shiraz Dossa; Professor of Political Science.
The University released the following statement:
December 13, 2006
Statement from Dr. Sean Riley, President of St. Francis Xavier University
I express my shock and regret that the name of St. Francis Xavier University has been associated with the recent “conference” in Tehran due to the presence of a member of University faculty.
The gathering, in its origins and focus, contained elements that are deeply abhorrent to the St. Francis Xavier University community and the traditions of our 153 years of history. Given previous statements and actions from key personalities in Iranian authority, and given the focus on the subject of the Holocaust and the well-known positions of many participants, it is no surprise that the conference revealed unmistakable and deplorable anti-Semitism.
The Holocaust stands as one of the darkest moments in the world history of human rights. The horror is not a matter of importance to select groups but rather to all humankind.
Members of university faculty, in Canada at least, have the freedom of inquiry and speech which is part of our democracy. They do not, however, speak for the university.
The faculty member concerned has commented to the media on his presence at the conference. He may choose to elaborate further.
This conference has rightly been condemned in no uncertain terms by our Prime Minister on behalf of all Canadians. The StFX community and I join in this condemnation.
I completely agree with that statement.
It should be interesting to see how this develops.