We, the undersigned call on French universities not to succumb to pressure to ban Anti-Apartheid Activist and Scholar Farid Esack from Speaking on Palestine

It has come to our notice that various French Universities are coming under pressure to refuse Professor Farid Esack, a prominent figure in the South African anti-apartheid struggle for liberation, a leading gender justice activist and one of the most eminent international scholars on religious pluralism to speak on their campuses on the issue of Palestine. We understand that objections have been raised against his presence on the grounds that he is an alleged anti-Semite and espouses violence.

Professor Esack has in all his written work and speeches displayed a remarkable principled commitment to justice and the struggle against all forms of racism – including anti-Semitism, sexism, economic exploitation and homophobia. His commitment to the struggle of justice for the Palestinian people is but an extension of a life-long commitment to justice. He has consistently opposed anti-Semitism in all its manifestations and has been a beacon for religious pluralism and non-violence.

As academics, social activists, politicians and other members of civil society we may or may not share all of Professor Esack’s views on everything. This is the nature of our work. We, however, protest against any attempt to silence this principled voice for justice.

We urgently request that Professor Esack be allowed to speak at his scheduled events taking place in France.

Position and affiliation: (for identity purposes only)

The statement ‘for identity purposes only’ will denote that you do not speak in the name of the institution or organization that you are affiliated to’.

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