Brussels (Brussels Morning) Frédérique Vidal, France’s Minister of Higher Education, Research and Innovation, has ordered an investigation of academia to flush “Islamo-leftism” from higher education, RFI reports.
She called for an assessment of research to determine whether activism is being presented as academic work, and said the National Centre for Scientific Research (CNRS) should conduct an investigation.
The move comes in the wake of accusations of corruption in the academic community. Some politicians and commentators have been warning about those they perceive to be on the left who decry any criticism of Islam as “Islamophobia,” describing them as Islamo-leftists.
Vidal warned about a minority of academics “who use their academic aura and qualifications… to advance radical or militant ideas,” stressing that this activism is affecting society in general.
Reaction of far left MP and university presidents
Far left MP Bénédicte Taurine criticised the proposed investigation, saying “we are shocked by these witch-hunts.” While seeking clarification as to what the move means, she compared it to the establishment of “thought police.”
Minister Vidal responded by saying, “I was asked about what is happening at universities, namely academics who say themselves that they are prevented from doing their research.” Vidal asserted that the CNRS would look at research into post-colonialism, while concluding that the study of such subjects in France was “essential.”
The Confederation of University Presidents echoed Taurine’s shock and dismay in comments that described the move as “pointless.”
“If the government needs analysis, argument, scientific back-up to help it rise above its grotesque caricatures and petty nit-picking, then universities are ready and waiting,” the group declared in a statement.MP Julien Aubert of the liberal-conservative LR welcomed the idea of a probe, while attesting to the significance of of social science and humanities departments.