[...] Vice-chancellors and their staff do not engage in robust debate with extremists and try to show vulnerable students the moral and intellectual virtues of liberalism because they are frightened. By far the most revealing comment on Abdulmutallab did not come from Philippe Sands or Malcolm Grant but from UCL's professor of English, John Sutherland.
He described how a friend of his, "an eminent scientist", strolled in to take a look at an art exhibition organised by the UCL Islamic Society. "'Was he a believer?' asked an obviously Muslim student. 'No,' replied my friend, 'he didn't believe in any god, as it happened.' 'Then,' the young man confidently informed him, 'we shall have to execute you.' My friend laughed it off after lodging a mild complaint. It could, of course, have been Abdulmutallab who made the threat."
I am willing to bet that the laughter of the eminent scientist was of the tinny and nervous variety. I will wager further that equally tinny and nervous laughs are being heard on campuses across Britain. Read more