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Nation that preached democracy to others doing worse
Published on: Sunday, May 05, 2024
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THE framers of the American Constitution would undoubtedly be disheartened to witness the erosion of the Second Amendment, once considered a pillar of democratic principles, now succumbing to the pressures of vested interests and political agendas.

How can a nation claim to be a beacon of freedom of expression while readily disregarding its own Bill of Rights? America was once synonymous with a vibrant student protest and activism scene, inspiring emulation worldwide.

However, recent weeks have seen a crackdown on student demonstrations advocating for Palestine at Columbia, Yale, Harvard, and other universities, with authorities resorting to arrests, expulsion, suspension and violence against those exercising their right to protest.

The wave of student protests calling for an end to Israeli atrocities and holding Israel accountable are spreading in the United States.

Even valedictorians and speakers at peaceful rallies and graduation ceremonies are prevented from speaking by the university authorities for fear of voicing pro-Palestinian sentiments.

It is unthinkable that universities in the US are imposing censorship as if it is some kind of dictatorship. Universities, traditionally bastions of free thought and open discourse, now seem to be infiltrated by agendas that stifle dissent.

Criticizing Israeli government policies on Palestine, their genocidal war on Gaza, even if they are breaking international law constantly, is somehow a taboo subject.

The alarming reality is the active suppression of free speech when it comes to criticizing Israeli government actions.

While protests against other geopolitical issues (e.g. against China, or Russia’s war in Ukraine) might receive praise, any critique of Israel, even from Jewish students advocating for Palestinians, is met with condemnation from university administrations and punitive measures imposed.

The once-sacred notion of universities as safe spaces for dialogue and dissent is rapidly fading. Imagine sending riot police with guns to disperse peaceful student protests because they are protesting against Israel’s war on Gaza.

Aren’t universities supposed to protect students? This action against free speech not only undermines the credibility of the United States but also damages its relationships with global allies and the Global South.

The facade of championing liberal and democratic values is crumbling under the weight of double standards and hypocrisy, all in the name of shielding Israel from scrutiny, criticism, and application of international law principles.

Hazwan Dani Abdul Kadir

Tutor

School of International Studies, College of Law, Government, and International Studies Universiti Utara Malaysia


- The views expressed here are the views of the writer and do not necessarily reflect those of the Daily Express.

- If you have something to share, write to us at: [email protected]



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