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Don't Divide Us Weekly Newsletter

Hello!

2021 promises to be a busy year for the DDU with supporters coming together to share our central message of unity and commonality: 

Don’t Divide Us


If you would like to join any of our DDU groups please get in touch!

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New Perspectives for a New Year
 
The DDU are proud to host new pieces this week by Ildi Tillmann and Alain J.E. Wolf. Both authors explore the complex interactions of identity, place and experience, demonstrating how richly complex and nuanced such experiences really are. The DDU want to showcase the incredible diversity of thought that exists beyond the restrictive conventional narrative of identity politics. If you have a story that you think we’d be interested in please get in touch!
 
A Project with a Human Perspective - Gorgeous photo journalism on a humanist theme by Ildi Tillmann
DDU Education Group News
 
The educators among our supporters will want to download a copy of What Should Schools Teach, edited by the DDU’s Alka Seghal Cuthbert. The book explores what constitutes knowledge, and how we go about selecting the knowledge that we teach to our children. It is a timely publication given the worrying trend towards politicised, ideology driven teaching that emerged last year. The book launches on January 20th and DDU supporters can book their tickets here to join the conversation.

In other education news, you can hear DDU supporter Katherine Birbalsingh bringing her unique perspective to a discussion on educational fairness with Radio 4’s Amol Rajan here.
Protect Historic Monuments in Cambridge

As the Rhodes Inquiry rumbles on in Oxford (a public inquiry which has so far failed to include the public) monuments in Cambridge are also under threat from historical revisionists, overzealously seeking to decolonise everything. Our supporters can sign the petition to prevent the removal of Cambridge monuments to Tobias Rustat here and DDU supporter Philip Kiszely makes a compelling defence of historical truth in the video below.
Dr. Philip Kiszely - 'We Must Reclaim the Past or Face a Dystopian Future.'
DDU Academic Group News
 
DDU Academic Jim Butcher reviews The Free Speech Wars, a new book by Charlotte Lydia Riley in Spiked this week. Riley’s opposition to free speech and support for cancel culture suggest that the assault on academic freedom is here to stay in 2021. Butcher writes:

‘Free speech carries risks, of course. But The Free Speech Wars reduces it to little more than a threat. It presents free speech as the tool of bad people, the public as gullible and passive, and minorities as victims. And it does so in order to justify policing and restricting speech.’

Only a few days into the new year Ofcom announced that their hate speech guidance will be updated to include a staggering eighteen ‘protected characteristics.’ As Debbie Hayton points out, the new guidance makes the classic mistake of conflating offence with harm and professional offence seekers will no doubt be thrilled to be provided with so many new grounds on which to complain. Ofcom’s new guidance has prompted the DDU Academic Group to consider the implications of the protected characteristics system, and the legislative framework of the Equality Act which gives it force, in more detail.
 
Contact us if you would like to join the discussion!
French Teachers Fearful of Accusations of Islamophobia
 
Following the jihadist murder of French school teacher Samuel Paty, the Times reports that 49% of French educators are avoiding teaching subjects that might draw accusations of Islamophobia. The DDU are fortunate to be working with Khadija Khan to explore the censorious impact of the term Islamophobia, particularly on former Muslim's who wish to critique the ideology of Islam without being accused of bigotry towards Muslim people. Maajid Nawaz explains the crucial distinction between criticising people and the vital right to critique ideas in the thought provoking video below.
 
Maajid Nawaz critiques the misuse of the term 'Islamophobia'
Thank you for reading and supporting Don't Divide Us!
Best Wishes,
Carrie
On Behalf of the Don't Divide Us Team
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