George Jonas (Academic Fortresses of Repression, Feb. 10), in commenting on York University's treatment of Daniel Pipes, is right to praise the university's president's defence of free speech, and to contrast it with the anti-academic "no-free-speech-for-racists" slogan that protesters on campus used to try to silence Dr. Pipes.
However, Mr. Jonas suggests that the "foul breath of political correctness that permeates academic institutions," a "miasma arising from this totalitarian swamp," is merely the expression or individuals, or of politicized organizations such as York University's Middle East Student Association.
On the contrary, the stink goes much further. On Jan. 28, the executive of the York University Faculty Association (YUFA) wrote to all YUFA members claiming that Dr. Pipes and his Campus Watch Web site are "committed to a racist (our emphasis) agenda." It also asserted that in its condemnation of Dr. Pipes' "racism," the YUFA executive was joined "with colleagues around the world, and our colleagues in the Canadian Association of University Teachers (CAUT)."
Both YUFA and CAUT are unions in the sense that membership of faculty in them is compulsory, and, at least prima facie, CAUT represents the views of Canadian faculty as a whole. Accordingly, until there is a statement to the contrary, both these Canadian faculty organizations are on record as having asserted that Dr. Pipes is guilty of racism. In our view, this charge is as foul as it is unfounded, and reflects badly on Canadian faculty commitment to academic freedom. Even the UN has dropped it's "Zionism is racism" slogan. When will Canadian faculty associations follow suit?
John J. Furedy, professor of psychology, University of Toronto; Christine P. Furedy, professor emerita, Urban Studies, York University, Toronto.