Bristol Uni can’t explain why absent Professor Miller is doing public speaking engagements
Students have been told Professor Miller is on ‘sick leave’ and reassigned personal tutors
Bristol Professor David Miller spoke at a two-hour-long event two days ago, despite his students being told he is on “sick leave” and being reassigned personal tutors.
Miller, who is under investigation by the University of Bristol about comments he has made about Zionism and Bristol Jsoc, spoke on a Zoom event for the Third International Conference on Islamophobia yesterday, and was seen coughing several times.
Bristol University has refused to explain why Miller is speaking at public events while his students have faced long waits for marks, while Miller claims he was not on sick leave yesterday.
On March 17th, Professor Miller’s personal tutees were assigned new tutors. In an email sent to all of David Miller’s personal tutees the university confirmed that “Professor Miller is currently on sick leave” though have not elaborated any further on how long he is expected to be on sick leave for.
Students in Miller’s class were also forced to wait six weeks to have their work on Miller’s Understanding Terrorism module marked – compared to the usual three weeks.
In an email sent to students on this unit Mike McBeth, Director of Education, SPS, confirmed that “another member of our staff (…) will take on marking your final assessment from the Understanding Terrorism” module as “Professor Miller is on sick leave absence”.
All this is happening whilst Bristol University investigates Miller’s actions.
A university spokesperson told The Bristol Tab: “It is not appropriate for the University to make any comment on this matter while the investigation we have already referred to in previous statements is underway.”
At the event Sami Al-Arian, founder of the Centre for Islam and Global Affairs, introduced David Miller as speaker.
Al-Arian was imprisoned in the US after pleading guilty to one count of conspiracy for contributing services for the benefit of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad. The organisation has been designated a terrorist group by the UK, USA, Australia, and Canada.
He welcomed Miller to the event by noting the “unjustified attacks on him because of his principled stance”. He added “of course we honour him and stand by him”.
In the Q+A section of the video, about an hour and 40 minutes in, Miller speaks about an alleged alliance between the Hindus in India, the UAE and Israelis. Miller claimed that in the UK there’s been a “mobilisation of the right wing Hindu vote in the UK’s last election… done in the same kind of way as the mobilisation of right-wing Zionists voting against the Labour Party”.
He also claimed that “there is a huge effort in the UK to try and normalise Zionism in minority ethnic communities, especially in Muslim communities, especially in Hindu communities too. And that’s done by a variety of techniques, through interfaith work”.
Two years ago, the Community Security Trust (CST) filed a complaint to Bristol Uni following a lecture Miller delivered as part of his “Harms of the Powerful” module, which made Jewish students feel uncomfortable and unwelcome in his classes. This complaint has not yet been resolved by Bristol Uni.
A Jewish student in his class, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, said: “I was one of the only Jewish students in David Miller’s class. Honestly it was scary because he is a teacher so people believed the anti-Semitism he was spreading. I was scared because I am one voice and felt I couldn’t stand up to him or tell him what he was saying was wrong.”
Six days ago it was revealed that David Miller is under police investigation. In a statement to The Bristol Tab, Avon and Somerset Police confirmed the investigation into “a hate crime or hate incident taking place during lectures at the University of Bristol.”
Responding to the news of the police investigation, the Support David Miller campaign said: “Far-right Zionist hate groups around the country are known to use spurious police complaints to intimidate pro-Palestine activists.
The statement described “widespread support from academics and students at Bristol and beyond”, adding that any complaint against Miller “should be treated with contempt”.
They then claimed that since 2014, “far-right Zionist thugs” have “manufactured ‘antisemitism’ smears” that target UK political parties, universities, and activists, and encouraged “all anti-racists” to join what they describe as an “international movement that will at last expose and defeat the racism that fuels Zionist thuggery.”