06 October 2007

Desmond Tutu barred from US Catholic university

Desmond Tutu barred from speaking at a Minnesota University

A peace and justice group at St. Thomas University in St. Paul, Minnesota has been forced by the university president to cancel an appearance by Archbishop Desmond Tutu.

Archbishop Desmond Tutu

The cancellation was accompanied by the removal of the chair of the Justice and Peace Studies program, Prof. Cris Toffolo from her position as chair. She has tenure, but no longer heads the

The university president, Father Dennis Dease, decided against Tutu's appearance after consulting one representative from the local Jewish Community Relations Council and several rabbis affiliated with the university. This, apparently, amounted to a Jewish "consensus" in Father Dease's mind.

The rumor of Tutu's alleged "anti-Semitism" is based entirely on a propaganda campaign waged by the extremist group, the Zionist Organization of America. Though he is outspoken in his criticism of Israel's occupation regime, sometimes even bellicose, Tutu has never displayed anything other than deep concern for all peoples and his sympathy for Palestinians suffering under the yoke of occupation.

Please write to Father Dease and urge that he reverse this tragic course. Tell him you want to see Prof. Toffolo reinstated as chair of the Justice and Peace Studies program and that the words and views of Bishop Tutu are important ones for the students at St. Thomas University to hear.

Go to Jewish Voice for Peace to write to Father Dease.


Anonymous said...

This sounds rather familiar, in fact about twenty years ago Tutu was being similarly demonised by the religious right in South Africa (and elsewhere) for being a pawn of the communists and terrorists etc. And these people complain when one points out the parallels between apartheid and Zionism - their reaction seems to prove it!

What I do find disturbing though is that Catholics are buying into this type of demonising and/or being manipulated by it. Can you imagine Dennis Hurley reacting like this?

Anyway, thanks for the link!

Steve Hayes said...


Yes, I think you have put your finger on it. It shows that the phenomenon of the "religious right" is growing in America, and it is not merely Protestant, but is reaching out to embrace Jews and Catholics as well.

Walton said...

So Tutu joins the noble assembly of people falsely accused of anti-Semitism for criticising Israel.

Personally, I think it's a good thing when this happens to high profile peace activists with solid reputations: every time some Zionist group attempts this smear, the effect is slightly weakened. Soon, they won't be able to use it at all, and they'll have to engage with the criticism.

Who's next? Mandela?

Steve Hayes said...

The similarity of the criticisms of Tutu from the US Israel lobby to those of the apartheid apologists shows that there isn't much difference.


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