Professor David Held just sent an email with a public statement on Saif al-Gaddafi’s donation of £1.5 million to LSE Global Governance.
PLEASE NOTE THAT THIS ARTICLE HAS MOVED TO OUR NEW WEBSITE
Dear Jerome Roos,
Thank you for your email and understandable concern.
The LSE has issued a statement about the whole matter which is now on its website. I have also just written a personal statement which I attach for you.
Personal Statement by David Held
21 February 2011
I watched the speech last night by Saif al-Islam Gaddafi and was deeply disturbed by its failure to grasp the changing circumstances of the Middle East in general, and of Libya in particular. Rather than seeing the opportunity for reform based on liberal democratic values and human rights, Saif al-Islam Gaddafi stressed the threat of civil war and foreign intervention.
I have known Saif al-Islam Gaddafi for several years since he did a PhD at the LSE. During this time I came to know a young man who was caught between loyalties to his family and a desire to reform his country. In many discussions and meetings I encouraged the development of his reform agenda and subsequently sought to support it through research on the North Africa Programme funded by the Gaddafi International Charity and Development Foundation (see here).
My support for Saif al-Islam Gaddafi was always conditional on him resolving the dilemma that he faced in a progressive and democratic direction. The speech last night makes it abundantly clear that his commitment to transforming his country has been overwhelmed by the crisis he finds himself in. He tragically, but fatefully, made the wrong judgement. As a result, the LSE has stopped new work on the North Africa Programme, although we will continue to pursue research and policy development, as we have done, on behalf of the democratisation process in the Middle East.
Clearly this is far from enough. Hundreds of peaceful protesters have been brutally murdered by Gaddafi’s stormtroopers and mercenaries, and all Professor Held can conjure up is that Gaddafi must have been “overwhelmed by the crisis he finds himself in”?
Please join me in demanding a more outspoken denouncement of Saif al-Gaddafi by David Held and the LSE, including the restitution of all money the Center for Global Governance has received so far (£300.000) and a public apology from David Held for his absurd statements in praise of Saif al-Gaddafi (more on this in an article coming later today).
It only takes 2 minutes to send an email to Professor Held and let your voice be heard. People are dying in Libya just to secure their most basic rights to freedom of expression and a dignified existence. We cannot allow our own academic and political elites to get away with hypocrisy and soft statements on the matter.
LSE Director Quits over Gaddafi Ties
After 11 days of one reputation-wrecking embarrassment after another, the embattled
dictator director of the Libyan London School of Economics, Sir Howard Davies, has finally stepped down over his emphatic toadying to the Gaddafi regime.
Did David Held, Lord Desai and the LSE Overlook Gaddafi’s PhD Plagiarism?
A careful Wiki-study of Saif al-Gaddafi’s PhD thesis at the London School of Economics yields an astonishing amount of suspicious, non-cited similarities to other texts.
Plot Thickens in LSE-Gaddafi Connection
Not just David Held and Howard Davies cuddled up to the Gaddafi regime. Anthony Giddens, former LSE Director and advisor to Tony Blair, also publicly defended the Libyan dictator back in 2007.
Gaddafi and the LSE: On the Wrong Side of History Once Again
The LSE’s cozy relationship with the Gaddafi regime is but one instance of a much larger problem: the systematic failure of Western liberals to practice what they preach. Whence this bizarre hypocrisy?
LSE Students Occupy Senior Commons Room
LSE students have occupied the senior commons room to demand the immediate restitution of Gaddafi’s blood money to the Libyan people.
Call upon LSE Students to Demand the Restitution of Gaddafi’s Blood Money
This is a plea to all LSE students and alumni to occupy the Old Theater and not to leave until the Center for Global Governance returns Saif al-Gaddafi’s £1.5 million donation to the Libyan people.