David Miller: Bristol sacks professor accused of antisemitism

Sociologist criticised by MPs says that he plans to appeal against termination

十月 1, 2021
Bristol England September 07, 2018 The Wills Memorial Tower of Bristol University Seen from Park Row
Source: iStock

The University of Bristol has sacked a professor who was accused of making antisemitic comments.

The institution said that David Miller, a professor of political sociology, “did not meet the standards of behaviour we expect from our staff”, even though an independent report concluded that his comments “did not constitute unlawful speech”.

Jewish students voiced their concern earlier this year after Professor Miller “used a slide in one of his lectures linking UK communal organisations to a Zionist movement which he claimed was part of ‘five pillars of Islamophobia’”, the Jewish Chronicle reported.

In response to the complaints, Professor Miller was also reported to have subsequently told the publication that “Jewish students on British campuses” were “being used as political pawns” by Israel.

Bristol launched an investigation and the row reached the House of Commons, with Robert Halfon, the Conservative MP who chairs the Education Select Committee, complaining that the university “cares nothing for the welfare of its Jewish students” and was creating “a hostile environment for Jewish students”. Mr Halfon suggested that the government should cut Bristol’s funding if it did not take action.

In a statement, Bristol said that its decision was prompted by its “duty of care to all students and the wider university community”.

“A disciplinary hearing found Professor Miller did not meet the standards of behaviour we expect from our staff and the university has concluded that Professor Miller’s employment should be terminated with immediate effect,” Bristol said.

“The university regards the principle of academic freedom as fundamental and would like to reiterate that we take any risk to stifle that freedom seriously. The investigation included an independent report from a leading Queen’s Counsel who considered the important issue of academic freedom of expression and found that Professor Miller’s comments did not constitute unlawful speech.”

Professor Miller said that he would appeal against the decision and take the case to an employment tribunal if necessary, The Guardian reported.

“[The university] has run a shambolic process that seems to have been vetted by external actors. Israel’s assets in the UK have been emboldened by the university collaborating with them to shut down teaching about Islamophobia. The University of Bristol is no longer safe for Muslim, Arab or Palestinian students,” the newspaper quoted Professor Miller as saying.

Bristol said that it “remains committed to fostering a positive working and learning environment that enriches lives and where the essential principles of academic freedom are preserved”.




  • 注册是免费的,而且十分便捷
  • 注册成功后,您每月可免费阅读3篇文章
  • 订阅我们的邮件
Please 登录 or 注册 to read this article.