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Birmingham Uni bans staff websites

Last updated: 2004-03-15

The Board of Deputies is delighted that the University of Birmingham has decided to stop hosting staff websites which have no relevance to academic or administrative work. This follows concerns expressed by the Jewish community, particularly the Union of Jewish Students, regarding links to antisemitic and racist websites.

In October 2002, the Board complained to the university's authorities about links on the website of English lecturer, Sue Blackwell, which glorified suicide bombing and urged people to join the academic boycott of Israel. Last year the Union of Jewish Students wrote to the University of Birmingham concerning links on the website of another academic, Dr. Nat Queen, which made antisemitic references.

Director General Neville Nagler commented: "We are very pleased that the University of Birmingham has recognised that antisemitic propaganda on staff websites should not be permitted. With the increase of anti-Jewish incidents on campus, it is unacceptable that university staff should, in any way, be aggravating the problem. All students, no matter what their religious or ethnic background, are entitled to live in a safe and secure environment on campus and it is the university's duty to do everything to achieve this goal. We congratulate the Union of Jewish Students for their efforts in ensuring that this has been recognised by the University of Birmingham."