Oxford victory for freedom and real history!
David Irving (above) will address the Oxford Union on November 26th
The Oxford Union, founded in 1823, is the world's most prestigious debating society. Five British prime ministers were presidents of the Oxford Union.
see also latest update on the historic Oxford Union meeting, November 26th
Members of the internationally renowned Oxford Union have defied an intense lobbying campaign by prominent leftists and Zionists and will persist with an invitation to the historian David Irving.
Mr Irving was given a three year prison sentence by an Austrian court in February 2006 after being convicted of "Holocaust denial", and was released after serving thirteen months.
He will address a "free speech forum" at the Union on November 26th, after 62% of the Union's members voted in favour of hearing him.
The invitation to Mr Irving has caused widespread outrage among the usual opponents of free historical research. Conservative Party defence spokesman Julian Lewis has resigned from the Oxford Union in protest, while the Secretary of State for Defence, Des Browne, has taken time out from his incompetent management of Britain's armed forces to announce that he will boycott future Union events.
The Oxford Union Library, where members can still read books and hear speakers banned in several European countries
Other opponents of the debate included the Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams, a former Oxford professor. Dr Williams gave an interview to the website totallyjewish.com stating that Mr Irving's views "should not be given the dignity of being taken seriously".
There are fears that the opponents of free historical debate will stop at nothing to prevent Mr Irving from speaking, and according to reports in the British press a massive police operation will be required to prevent hired thugs from attacking students on their way to the meeting.
Oppostion to the meeting has so far been coordinated by Jenni Woolf of the Union of Jewish Students, and a website has been set up to intensify pressure on the Union's officers.
The more sordid side of the anti-Irving lobby is evident from comments by some of Ms Woolf's fellow campaigners.
Lee Jasper of the National Assembly against Racism, who is also equalities adviser to the Mayor of London, said:
"The Oxford Union is jeopardising the safety of the students by continuing with this event. It is not too late to rescind these invites – Oxford Union gathers growing condemnation with every moment it continues being complicit with a meeting promoting fascism and Holocaust denial."
Sabby Dhalu of Unite Against Fascism echoed these threats:
"The Oxford Union will have to hold itself responsible for any subsequent repercussions on the threats to the safety of students if it proceeds with this decision."
To their great credit, some prominent Oxonians have spoken out in defence of the meeting. Dr Taj Hargey, chairman of the Muslim Educational Centre of Oxford (MECO), said about a dozen members of the MECO would campaign outside the forum for Mr Irving's right to speak.
Dr Hargey said: "Either there is free speech for everyone or there is free speech for no one.
"We feel strongly that free speech is integral to Islam and all opinions should be expressed with the proviso that alternative opinions are heard."
The precise lineup of speakers is not yet known, but it seems that British National Party chairman Nick Griffin will attend. Mr Griffin was once himself an active promoter of free historical debate, though his present position is unclear.
JailingOpinions.com will have a full report on the forum tomorrow.