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Further Censorship at PPS Event

Apr 29 2008 00:12
The Dark Knight
The level of censorship at Friday's PPS event was even greater than reported on Friday, with Felix initially having its camera confiscated too.
Imperial College appears to believe in censorship - not exactly an open environment for debate, is it?

College's decision to ban external guests and recording devices from Friday's event with the former Prime Minister of Malaysia saw blatant censorship by the College Secretary and Pro-Rector (Education).

Security, and these senior College officials, were both checking for College ID and confiscating recording devices, storing them in the projector room in SAF where they supervised proceedings. Felix had its camera confiscated, with a College official apparently claiming that Felix had to be "censored". Felix later reclaimed their camera after aides to the former Prime Minister started talking their own photographs.

The talk certainly turned out to be controversial, with the speaker describing the September 11th 2001 attacks on the World Trade Center in New York as an "act of self defence", a comment later repeated. In less controverisal parts of the talk he also highlighted how impersonal war and become, with the "rich countries" able to attack indiscriminately from a distance, whereas previously standing armies would have faced each other, similarly armed, across a battlefield.

In a topical issue, the talk also criticised the "glorification" of military personnel, attacking that what he described as "murderers" were made into heroes.

Those of you not too buried in revision can find a full account in Felix on Friday, or you can listen to a recording below, sent to Live! by an anonymous source who evidently slipped a recording device through. The event was part of a series of talks PPS have organised this year, which cover a variety of political topics.

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Listen to a recording of the speech

Please note that the discussion on this article will be moderated, so your comments will not appear immediately.

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Discussion about “Further Censorship at PPS Event”

The comments below are unmoderated submissions by Live! readers. The Editor accepts no liability for their content, nor for any offence caused by them. Any complaints should be directed to the Editor.
1. cynic   
Apr 29 2008 07:51

Clearly censorship of this kind if unacceptable and I hope the only reason it is slipping by without a large contingent of the student body in protest is because we are entering an extremely stressful phase of the year, with examinations and all. To compare this to our competitor, Oxford, they rely on the student societies to regulate themselves in terms of controversial speakers - why does Imperial see the necessity to nanny us?

2. tom   
Apr 29 2008 08:18

"he also highlighted how impersonal war and become, with the "rich countries" able to attack indiscriminately from a distance, whereas previously standing armies would have faced each other, similarly armed, across a battlefield."

Like in Iraq and Afghanistan?

What would he call Sept 11th if not an indiscriminate attack from a distance?

Apr 29 2008 11:23

You've chosen to infer what you want from the story, he never claimed that 9/11 was not an indiscriminate attack. Whether it is or not is a separate question.

Are you implying that one justifies the other, or using that statement to try and excuse something horrific.

Apr 29 2008 11:25

its not really an attack from a distance, but more frightengly (i cant believe i don't know how to spell that) close up. but thats not important,

in truth his speech upheld honorable ideals of peace, yes he did describe 9/11 as self-defence but it is important to understand that this view is not controversial amongst most muslims.

this does not mean that muslims support the 9/11 bombings, but rather that muslims are the quickest to look at it in terms of the causes of terrorism, and looking at 9/11 in terms of the motivations of the hijackers doesn't mean that your a terrorist, simply that you are more critical of the u.s. than the citizens of texas

Apr 29 2008 13:33

what was attendance like in the end?

Apr 29 2008 17:14

Congratulations to the person who provided the voice recording. It was easy to listen to and all voices were distinguishable. I was very interested in the speech and in the Q&A session.

Apr 30 2008 00:22

George Bush and his allies should be put to trail in the ICJ in the Hague against humanity! Where are the WMD he claimed in Iraq, Where are the AlQaedas he says waging war on America in Iraq? Why must the Talebans be removed from power in Afghanistan, and the US-installed Karzai be better? The war against terror waged by Bush, Blair, etc. (read LIARS) are actually the neo-colonialism by the imperialists all in the name of human peace and morality. These leaders are actaulyy MURDERERS!

Apr 30 2008 14:09

So let me get this straight - at the event about "criminalising war" the main speaker didn't stick to the topic of "criminalising war" choosing to spend at least some time on other topics.

Kind of makes a mockery of PPS's justification for inviting this man to speak. After all, we were told, he will be speaking about "criminalising war" so his views on other topics aren't relevant.

I don't think the PPS committee is biased but they certainly seem to have little or no idea about politics managing to invite speakers without having a clue on their politics and apparently thinking that they will stick completely to the topic PPS chose for them.

9. hmm   
Apr 30 2008 14:55

Post 7 was moderated?

Do we really have to listen to Muslim extremist views on here? Freedom of speech and all but it's getting a bit lame and tiresome with poorly educated losers spewing variants of Al Qaeda propaganda, riddled with spelling and grammatical errors.

As with most politics, apathy is the way forward. No-one outside of PPS and Muslim Malaysian communities cares about this has-been PM.

So he rants at the US - wow. He's nothing, a nobody. If a leader of a major power - say a Euro or large Asian country spoke out as he did, that may be worth listening to.

10. Editor   
Apr 30 2008 18:42

Post 7 was moderated. It is not illegal, and other posters are free to argue the case against it. Deleting posts just because the views are a little extreme would make us as bad as College.

Apr 30 2008 20:31

i was at the lecture.

he did stick to the topic 'criminalising war'

if you had been there you would know that

Apr 30 2008 23:08

He was a leader of major power, the nobody is you. His views are very interesting, even if I don't agree with them. I think you need to open your mind a little to other's views. As do many of IC students!

May 09 2008 09:33

I have written a comment piece in Felix this week detailing my feelings on what we need to do to move froward. Please read it if you get the chance...

14. amos   
Sep 06 2008 23:22

There's something wrong with the quality of the audio recording. The speaker's voice sounded like Alvin & The Chipmunks. Can someone please rectify the problem.

Not sure whether I'm the only one who is facing this problem. Thank you in advance for any assistance.

Sep 07 2008 12:49

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