Mark Humphrys (politics)


Cancel culture at DCU

Student free speech ultimately triumphs over academic suppression of debate

Mark Humphrys
Thur 4 Apr 2024

I took part in a remarkable debate last week in the upstairs of "The Slipper" pub near DCU. Members of the DCU Debate Society held a debate on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. It was one of the most intelligent debates I have ever been to.

It was not a DCU event and was not held on DCU campus. And the reason why is a real sign of the times. This is a story of academic-driven cancel culture and academic-driven suppression of debate being defeated by student free speech.

The background is that the DCU Debate Society invited me to represent the Ireland Israel Alliance in an Israel-Palestine debate planned for 27 Mar 2024. The opposition was to be Clare Daly MEP.

Instead of welcoming this debate, or even joining it, a group of DCU academics sought to have the debate stopped. This group of academics circulated a letter of political accusations against me. The letter is reproduced below. They asked that I be "no platformed".

Since these academics made accusations against me, and chose to circulate this letter, I will first reply to their accusations and defend my name. Then I will explain how they won - and then they lost.


The letter

The following is the letter that the group of DCU academics circulated.
(All of them except one are strangers to me and we have never met.)

From: Paola Rivetti
Date: Mon 25th March 2024
To: DCU Debate Society

Dear Society,

I am writing on behalf of a group of staff members across several faculties and departments in DCU. We learnt that your Society organised a debate on the current war on Gaza, to be held on March 27th, featuring four speakers. We would like to express our concerns regarding the presence of our colleague Mark Humphreys as one of the speakers.

In the past, our colleague has been criticised for jeopardising the safety and welfare of DCU students. You may not be aware that in 2021, DCU denounced a post written by this colleague on the anti-racist movement BLM, officially distancing itself from the words and views of this person ( DCU former student Ibrahim Halawa talked about how much this staff member impacted on his wellness and mental health ( Our colleague has been at the centre of campus life for his opinions and views, and students have repeatedly denounced such views as "racism" and "Islamophobia" ( We respectfully wonder why a student society would want to platform someone who has been identified as problematic and damaging by other students.

While our primary concerns focus on the safety of the students, we also wonder if the framing of the debate actually reflects the reality of the data that we receive on a daily basis from Gaza and of the international law, or if it only serves the purpose of inflaming a debate which, we are afraid, will hardly be respectful.

We strongly believe in the transformative power of debating and thinking together, when the integrity of the views exposed and the safety of all participants are guaranteed. We do not think that this is one of those occasions, and we urge you to reconsider the opportunity of holding this debate in these circumstances.

Best regards,

Aisling Twohill, School of STEM Education, Innovation and Global Studies
Audrey Bryan, School of Human Development
Beatrice Scutaru, DCU, School of History and Geography
Caitriona Ni Cassaithe, School of STEM Education, Innovation and Global Studies
Catherine Baker, DCU Anti-Bullying Centre
Eamon Costello, School of STEM Education, Innovation & Global Studies
Eileen Culloty, School of Communications
Ellen Howley, School of English
Erika Biagini, School of Law and Government
Eugene McNulty, School of English
Faraj Elammari, Information Systems Services
Hussam Achour, School of Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering
Jenna Harris, School of Theology, Philosophy & Music
Joe Usher, DCU, School of STEM Education, Innovation and Global Studies
Justin Rami, School of Policy & Practice
Maria Barry, School of STEM Education, Innovation and Global Studies
Marie Flynn, School of Human Development
Mathias Urban, DCU Institute of Education, Early Childhood Research Centre
Niamh Gaynor, School of Law and Government
Paola Rivetti, School of Law and Government
Peter Tiernan, School of STEM Education, Innovation and Global Studies
Ronaldo Munck, Director of the Centre for Engaged Research
Rowan Oberman, School of STEM Education, Innovation and Global Studies
Shadi Karazi, DCU Business School


My reply

The DCU academics' inability to spell my name and their belief that Ibrahim Halawa was a DCU student shows the depth of the research they did. Let me respond to their accusations.


Black Lives Matter (BLM)

First, they refer to my thoughts on the Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement. They do not have the intellectual honesty to quote any of my thoughts, or link to my page: where I explain my thoughts in detail. I oppose the BLM movement primarily because it has led to thousands of black people getting killed in the homicide spike in the USA that began in 2020. I back up my argument with evidence, stats and sources. It is a position held by many other thinkers, including black writers and intellectuals, some of whom I quote on that page.

I have other issues with the BLM movement. Their analysis of police and crime is entirely wrong and based on fake statistics. The official BLM groups are openly Marxist, anti-Israel and were recently found celebrating the racist massacre of Jews. It is reasonable to describe BLM as a racist antisemitic hate group. But the worst thing they did was getting thousands of black people killed.

My original thoughts on BLM are still up at the page above. I have not deleted them or changed them. I have not apologised for them to anyone, because there is nothing wrong with them. If you disagree, debate me like an adult, rather than trying to cancel me.

It is true that some students held an "anti-racist" BLM protest against me in 2021. One of the two leaders of the protest was Darragh Adelaide, who said a few days after 7 October: "Victory to the resistance in Gaza & the west bank". That is how this "anti-racist" protester against me responded to the biggest racist massacre of Jews since the Holocaust. Which rather shows the protest against me in a different light.


The massive US homicide spike of 2020, which continued elevated for years afterwards.
From this article: Massive increase in Black Americans murdered was result of defund police movement, Emma Colton, April 19, 2022.
This is why I opposed the BLM movement.
Not that the academics above seem to understand that for a moment.

Darragh Adelaide, one of the organisers of the "anti-racist" BLM protest against me in 2021, supports the October 2023 "resistance in Gaza", i.e. the racist mass killers of Jews.

A meme that applies to Darragh Adelaide and the academics on this page.
Found here.


Ibrahim Halawa

The academics above refer to Muslim Brotherhood activist Ibrahim Halawa. I have been probably the main critic in Ireland of Halawa and his father the Muslim Brotherhood leader Hussein Halawa. Again, the academics do not have the intellectual honesty to link to my years of careful research on the Halawa case: I wrote some of this up in an article in the Sunday Times on 31 Jan 2016. The academics do not have the intellectual honesty to link to that article or quote it. It is noteworthy that the Halawa family never challenged my facts in the Sunday Times article. They never wrote an article in response. They never even wrote a letter to the paper. They could not, because my facts are true.

Since getting out of Egyptian prison, Ibrahim Halawa has continued to be an activist for political Islam. He paid tribute to Muslim Brotherhood President Morsi on his death in 2019. He was acting as an intermediary for hate preacher Omar Abdelkafi in May 2022. He paid tribute to the spiritual head of the Muslim Brotherhood, the racist maniac Yusuf Al-Qaradawi, on his death in Sept 2022. And in 2023, Ibrahim Halawa was found to be sneering at the victims of 7 October. I suspect the academics above know nothing about this. They just want me to shut up.


Ibrahim Halawa posts a tribute to the spiritual head of the Muslim Brotherhood, the racist maniac Yusuf Al-Qaradawi, on his death in Sept 2022.

Yusuf Al-Qaradawi praises Hitler and the Holocaust in Jan 2009.

The letter complains that my criticism of Muslim Brotherhood activist Ibrahim Halawa "impacted on his wellness and mental health".
Here Ibrahim Halawa mocks the unarmed music festival victims of 7 October for running away from armed terrorists who are shooting and raping them.


Umar al-Qadri

Finally, the academics quote a Trinity News article attacking me, written by Islamic cleric Umar al-Qadri. In 2009, Umar Al-Qadri gave an angry speech supporting Hamas on the streets of Dublin. He called Hamas "my brothers and sisters". He said "Hamas loves peace." He claimed that Israel rapes Muslim women in front of Muslim men. The angry crowd chanted "Allahu Akbar" during his fiery speech. I saved the video of his speech and it is here: It regularly re-surfaces to embarrass him, which explains his anger against me and why he writes gutter articles like the one linked to by the academics above.


Umar Al-Qadri, promoted by the academics above, screams support for Hamas on the streets of Dublin in 2009.

The quality of the "research" done by the DCU academics.
They never read what I wrote, they could not spell my name, and they thought Ibrahim Halawa was a DCU student.
"Bad horse" meme is from here.


The academics shut down debate on campus

The academics only embarrass themselves by their inability to read my arguments and debate what I say. If we debated these issues, they would soon see there is another side to the story. Some of them might even change their minds.

However, no such discussion happened. The academics' letter succeeded. Many parties decided the Israel debate with me was "problematic". Security was not made available for the debate, and it was cancelled. The debate was successfully shut down at DCU. What a lesson to students, that unapproved debates could simply be shut down!


The students run an off-campus debate

The academics' win was short-lived. DCU Debate Society would not accept that they could simply be shut down. Their members agreed to meet off campus on the day, in "The Slipper" upstairs room. Clare Daly was recontacted, but had made other plans. So it was me against students.

I was nervous arriving, but should not have been. There were no protests, flags, heckling or chanting. No one shouted war cries to clear the room, as happened at UCD's failed Israel debate recently. Instead it was a room of people with many different and opposing views on Israel and the Palestinians, but all believed in debate and free speech. It was a room full of people wanting to debate ideas. And ideas were debated. The chair Cormac Docherty, my pro-Israel partner Jamie O'Mahony, the pro-Palestine speakers Sean Toner and Ben Watson, and the questions from the audience, were all deeply impressive. It was one of the best, most intelligent debates I have ever seen.

The debate night was rather profound. It was one of the stronger pro free speech statements made in this country recently, by a group of young people, not all of which, let me repeat, are remotely on my side politically. It was a glimpse that cancel culture may have reached its high water mark and may now be starting to recede. What a wonderful future that would be.

It was a sad day for DCU that an attempt to have a debate on the Israel-Palestine issue, one of the most important issues in the world in 2024, got shut down on campus. But what a fine day for DCU students, who stepped in to show us what a university can be and should be.


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Blocked on Twitter by the regressive left and Islamists: I love debate. I love ideas. But the Western left and their friends the Islamic right do not return the favour. Their response to opposing ideas, whether expressed politely or robustly, is often to block. See Who blocks me on Twitter.

I like debate. But I do have rules. See Who I block on Twitter.

Twitter is broken, 2016 to 2022: I am on Twitter at markhumphrys. Twitter was a great place for debate before 2016. You could meet everyone in the world, and argue about ideas. Starting in 2016, Twitter became increasingly broken. It became full of reporting and bans and censorship. In 2019, Twitter even started shadowbanning me for no reason that was ever explained, or could be appealed. By 2022, everyone was looking for a better place to debate.

Twitter is saved, 2022: In 2022 Elon Musk bought Twitter and started to end the censorship. It looks great so far. Twitter seems to be saved.