Al-Quds University, the Arab University in East Jerusalem, whose mission is the encouragement of an open and pluralistic cultural climate for its students, employees and community continues to explore chances to increase its role in creating understanding, bridging gaps and reducing tensions and conflict through offering new courses and programs. Nowadays, there is so much need to work on the prevention of hatred, animosity and stereotypes that serve as hot beds for generating and prolonging conflict, dehumanization and demonization of others. There is a need to engage students from all over the world to take an active and leading role in uprooting all sources, motivations and forms of hate speech by offering them a platform to discuss and address this issue at a scientific and responsible level. It is much needed as well to develop awareness but joint programs of how to be vigilant when hate speech occurs and how to mobilize efforts to challenge that according to certain criteria. Most countries even they differ in defining hate speech but all agree on its illegality.
In the same spirit of bridge-building that has guided the University over the past two decades, Al-Quds University has decided for the first time to hold a special English-speaking international summer course June/July 2014 to discuss ways of combating hate-speech and racism, with special emphasis on some of its gruesome consequences, such as wars, ethnic cleansing and genocide, for both its students as well as for a limited number of regional and international students. The University will invite prominent local, regional and international experts to deliver lectures in this course either in person or remotely. The university will extend an invitation to its critics, including the President of Brandeis, Dr. Frederick Lawrence, to participate as a guest lecturer. The University will be consulting with experts from all over the world in the field of hate speech to help prepare the curriculum for the course. It is hoped that such a course will sensitize all concerned –including the university community- to the fine line to be drawn between freedom of speech and the dehumanization of ‘the other’, especially in inflammable situations as those that exist in the region and in other parts of the world. Education experts will also be invited to discuss current school curricula in both Israeli and Palestinian schools.
The course is an academic course and in accordance with the university academic regulations. It is a transferable course and open for graduate and undergraduate students. The course will include lectures, groups discussion, cases analysis, interviews and of course readings. Students can choose to enrol in the course in one of its tracks: auditing, or passing/failing or grading.
The application form, has to be filled electronically and received by 15th of May 2014 at the latest. This is an intense course. It will run for 5 weeks: from June 23 to July 26 and meets twice a week. A full announcement for the course’s contents, weekly meetings and topics, readings and requirements will be made ready by that date.