Friday 8th November 2002
Lecturer replies to website anger
Gaby Wine's article, ('Anger at lecturer's website,' JC October 18) could be misconstrued as implying that I am anti-Semitic and support terrorism.
The article quotes a Union of Jewish Students fieldworker stating that the website 'comes under the crest of the university.' In fact, the site is a personal one. Though linked to the English department's site, its page on Israel-Palestine has never borne the university crest or been directly linked to any official university page.
Secondly, while I support the right of my colleagues to help at the Palestine Society stall and wear 'Victory to the Intifada' badges if they wish to, for the record I was not present at the Freshers' Fair this year.
I have several links to sites run by Muslim organisations. However, if 'radical Islamic organisations' is meant to imply terrorist groups like Hamas or Islamic Jihad, this is entirely untrue.
I unreservedly condemn racism and terrorism of all kinds and would never knowingly provide a link to a site promoting anti-Semitism or terrorism.
Yes, the website reflects my support for the human rights of the Palestinian people. No doubt some of your readers will argue that support for the Palestinian cause amounts to support for terrorism and anti-Semitism. I beg to differ.
In my 10 years teaching at the University of Birmingham, I have never had a complaint against me by any student or colleague on the grounds of discrimination of any kind.
I take pride in treating all my students with equal respect whatever their ethnicity or religion. I have been an active anti-racist all my adult life, and whenever the BNP stands for election in Birmingham, you will find me campaigning against its candidates on the streets and reminding voters of the horrors of the Holocaust.
I would like to thank those of your readers who have sent me messages of support over the past two weeks.
(Ms) Susan Blackwell,
This site is owned and maintained by Sue Blackwell.
Its contents are in no way endorsed by the University of Birmingham.
It was last updated on 11th November 2002.