Harvard Stands by Instructor Who Wrote Inflammatory Op-ed

The university says Subramanian Swamy has a right to free speech

This article is from the archive of our partner .

Harvard University is standing by its summer school instructor, Subramanian Swamy, who wrote what was deemed an inflammatory op-ed entitled "How to Wipe Out Islamic Terror." In a statement to The Crimson, Division of Continuing Education spokesperson Linda A. Cross said "It is central to the mission of a university to protect free speech, including that of Dr. Swamy and of those who disagree with him." The newspaper notes that now over 400 have signed a petition "calling on Harvard to fire him."

Meanwhile, Swamy, a political leader in India's Janata party, has also been subject to retaliatory actions: over the weekend his New Delhi compound was ransacked and vandalized by a group protesting the article, according to police statements cited by The Times of India. "As a preventive step, we have deputed a team of around 15 policemen at Swamy's house," said a police officer to the newspaper.

Part of what seemed to provoke response in Swamy's July 16th article, among other sentiments, was his suggestion that India "enact a national law prohibiting conversion from Hinduism to any other religion." The Crimson had summarized his op-ed as calling "for the removal of hundreds of mosques, the revocation of voting rights from non-Hindus, and a ban on conversion from Hinduism."

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.