More today on the pro-Hezbollah book by terrorist apologist and Boston University professor Augustus Richard Norton.
After asking how to best express his dismay, alumni Eric Epstein complained directly to BU president Robert Brown.
“Needless to say, the writings of the faculty of a university do not always agree with the opinions of others,” Brown responded via email. “This is especially true when the subject deals with organizations involved in political violence and terrorism.”
Brown attempts to justify his indifference to terrorist apologia by telling Mr. Epstein that he stood up against the proposed British boycott of Israel scholars.
Dear Mr. Epstein:
I am writing to respond to your email expressing concern over the book
published by Professor A. Richard Norton a Professor of International
Relations at Boston University. Needless to say, the writings of the
faculty of a university do not always agree with the opinions of others.
This is especially true when the subject deals with organizations involved
in political violence and terrorism, and is certainly the case with respect
to the review of Professor Norton¹s book. Each of us will form our own
opinion about the balance between academic scholarship and political opinion
in Professor Norton¹s work.
One of the hallmarks of research universities in America and around the
world is that we are communities where faculty members and students with
differing opinions coexist and openly debate, and where the environment
leads to better education for all. It is important to resist impulses to
restrict the range of opinions in universities, no matter how much they
differ with our own, because once we begin placing such restrictions, there
is no end to narrowing of the views that will be represented. As an example
of what can happen Britain¹s University and College Union recently proposed
to consider a boycott of Israeli universities and their faculty. I publicly
stood up for the openness of the international university community and
against this proposal.
I appreciate very much your concern for the reputation of Boston University
and I hope you will have many opportunities in the future to be proud of
Robert A. Brown
Office of the President
One Sherborn Street
Boston, MA 02215