Libel Suits Are Not a Way to Protect Academic Freedom
InsideHigherEd reports on the case of a libel suit at City University of New York. I support Susan O’Malley’s defense of the academic freedom of Mohammad Yousry, and I believe Sharad Karkhanis’ attacks on her are idiotic and juvenile. Nevertheless, this libel suit is both frivolous and absurd, and to call a libel suit aimed at silencing critics a defense of “academic freedom” is obscene. Both conservatives and liberals on campus have faced attacks in the form of libel suits. It’s time for academics, left and right, to get together and agree that, morally speaking, all libel suits are a violation of the academic standards of free expression we should all embrace. I’m planning to write a book about the threat of libel suits to free expression, and I encourage with similar stories to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.