Professor David Miller is one of the world’s leading academic experts on Islamophobia, and also specialises in the analysis of state and corporate lobbying.
He teaches political sociology at the University of Bristol and set up the UK’s lobbying watchdog, Spinwatch, which has tracked corporate power for 15 years. Spinwatch’s work has included investigations on the pharmaceutical lobby, the fossil fuel and fracking lobbies, as well as state lobbies that promote Islamophobia, such as those of Israel and the United Arab Emirates.
His publications include:
Professor Miller teaches about Islamophobia as part of a course at Bristol called Harms of the Powerful. On this course, he teaches the ‘five pillars’ theory of Islamophobia which analyses the various political movements underpinning the rise of Islamophobia globally. These five pillars are: parts of the Zionist movement; the ‘counter-extremism’ industry (particularly the state’s counter-terrorism apparatus); the far-right; the neoconservative movement; and the liberal New Atheist movement.
Following a lecture Professor Miller gave in 2019 explaining how the Zionist movement promotes Islamophobia, the British pro-Israel campaign group, the Community Security Trust, lobbied his university to censor him. This was followed by a complaint to Professor Miller’s university by the Union of Jewish Students (UJS), a pro-Israel student group. The UJS has been lobbying to have Professor Miller fired for two years because of his work on the relationship between Zionism and Islamophobia. The UJS’s constitution commits its members to making ‘an enduring commitment’ to Israel and the organisation was revealed by an undercover Al Jazeera investigation to be directly funded by Israel’s embassy in London.
The campaign against Professor Miller is specifically designed to conflate criticism of Zionism with hatred of Jews. It is also designed to shut down teaching about Islamophobia and the harms posed by Zionism. Professor Miller is a test case – Israel’s lobby in Britain wants to use the widely criticised IHRA Working Definition of Antisemitism to ban all criticism of the State of Israel, its policies and its ideology. It’s essential that we prevent this.
We have various open letters in support of Professor Miller from academics, educators, public intellectuals and other supporters. We will make these available to sign soon.
In the meantime, the most important thing you can do is write to the University of Bristol’s administrators letting them know what you think of pro-Israel organisations attempting to decide who should teach at British universities.
You can contact the University of Bristol’s Vice-Chancellor, Professor Hugh Brady, at [email protected]
Please cc (carbon copy) the following individuals into that correspondence:
Prof. Simon Tormey, Dean, Faculty of Social Sciences and Law: [email protected]
Prof. Sarah Purdy, Pro VC (Student Experience): [email protected]
Prof. Tansy Jessop, Pro VC (Education): [email protected]
Mr Jack Boyer , Chair, Board of Trustees: [email protected]
Dr Moira Hamlin, Vice-Chair, Board of Trustees: [email protected]
Judith Squires, Provost: [email protected]
Jane Bridgwater, Director of Legal Services: [email protected]
FILM DIRECTOR AND SOCIAL CAMPAIGNER
‘Universities depend on the freedom within the law to challenge all ideologies and political movements. Professor Miller is renowned and respected for his rigorous analysis and considered judgements. His voice is important. All are free to challenge his opinions, but none should advocate their suppression. Everyone who cherishes free speech should stand with David Miller.’
COMEDIAN, ACTOR AND AUTHOR
‘A healthy society is one where people can speak the truth even about uncomfortable subjects. No-one should lose their job for telling the truth. I want to express my support for and solidarity with David Miller.’
AUSTRIAN POLITICAL SCIENTIST AND ISLAMOPHOBIA SCHOLAR
‘David Miller is one of the world’s most important scholars of Islamophobia and has made important contributions to the field. More and more scholars teaching about Islamophobia, especially in Europe, are being subjected to a targeted campaign of intimidation.’