Hope Not Hate

There was widespread outrage and disbelief today after it emerged that veteran anti-racist activist Nick Lowles had been disinvited from an anti-racism conference over accusations he was “Islamophobic”.

In a message on his Facebook pager this afternoon, Lowles wrote:

So it seems that NUS black students are opposing a plan to invite me to speak on an anti-racism platform because I’m “Islamophobic”.

The message was met with incredulity given that Lowles, as director of Hope Not Hate, has done vital work in challenging anti-Muslim bigotry.

He said he suspected it was because he had repeatedly spoken out against grooming and condemned Islamist extremism in the past.

Lowles is also part of the government’s Anti-Muslim hatred Working Group.

This afternoon he posted an update:

To clarify, there was a discussion amongst those organising the NUS’s anti-racism conference about potential speakers. As NUS has policy to work with HOPE not hate, it was suggested that we were invited to speak. A couple of people spoke out against it on the basis that I/we were Islamophobic. As a result, HOPE not hate was not invited to address the event.

It is amusing in its absurdity but also reflective of a small group of ultra left student activists who refuse to condemn anything other than white extremism and are too afraid to have a debate.

I will write about this more tomorrow, but I do want to stress that my beef is with a small group of ultra leftists, not NUS itself, who were, I’m led to believe unaware of all this.

Political Scrapbook contacted NUS for a comment, who sent us this statement from its president Megan Dunn:

Hope Not Hate is not on NUS’ no platform list. I would happily share a platform with anyone from Hope Not Hate tomorrow. Representatives from Hope Not Hate, including Nick Lowles, have and continue to be invited to NUS events. I have tried to clarify this issue with Mr Lowles but have been unable to contact him.

The NUS would be making a serious mistake if it allows a few radical students to besmirch Hope Not Hate’s name

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