Oxford prof blasts Cecil Rhodes statue row ‘should focus on academia not omitting opinion’

Starmer tells dons to ‘get on with the job’ in Cecil Rhodes row

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Oxford dons should promote equality by raising awareness of places in the world where there is work to be done, rather than “throwing tantrums” over a statue, an African tutor at Oriel College has said. Dr. Marie Kawthar Daouda, from Morocco, has previously said that anti-Cecil Rhodes’s “virtue signalling has little to no effect” as she called for “less emotivity” in the way that academics respond to the British imperialist. Her comments came after around 100 academics at the University of Oxford said they would refuse requests to give tutorials to Oriel College’s undergraduates amid a row over a statue of Rhodes.

Speaking to GB News, Dr Daouda said: “As an African tutor here I can see how tolerant and inclusive the university is, not because of any campaign or statements but because there are so many dedicated academics who are willing to give the best possible experience to their students.

“To transmit to them everything they have learned so the students, in turn, can be sharers of knowledge and culture.

“That is something we should focus on much more than omitting opinions.”

Earlier this month, the Department of Politics and International Relations (DPIR) at Oxford University also condemned Oriel College’s decision not to remove its Rhodes statue from outside the college building as it argued that his “racist and patriarchal views” were at odds with the values of the university.

In May, Oriel College was accused of “institutional racism” after its governing body said it would not seek to move the controversial statue of the British imperialist from its position outside the college.

An independent inquiry to examine Rhodes’ legacy was set up in June last year after the governing body of Oriel College “expressed their wish” to remove the statue.

A majority of members on the commission supported the college’s original wish to remove the statue, but in May the college decided against the removal, arguing that there were “considerable obstacles”.

Last month, some Oxford University lecturers pledged not to assist Oriel College with its outreach work and admissions interviews, and they refused to attend or speak at talks, seminars and conferences sponsored by the college as they opposed its association with a statue that “glorifies colonialism”.

Cecil Rhodes: Tom Hunt argues Oxford statue should remain

Addressing the boycott, Dr Daouda told the Daily Telegraph: “Earlier this summer, the only disruption following the call for boycotting Oriel only affected a single one-hour tutorial, which I ended up teaching.

“The anti-Rhodes virtue signalling has little to no effect aside from showing the students that they are expendable hostages and teaching them that even respectable academics from one of the most prestigious universities cannot see a statue without throwing a tantrum.”

More to follow…

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