Dr. Dossa told the Globe and Mail that he is not a Holocaust denier, and called those who deny the Holocaust "hacks and lunatics." Still, his presence at the conference, sponsored by the Iranian government and featuring speeches by anti-Semites and Holocaust deniers, has raised eyebrows on campus and has been condemned by some university officials.
Yesterday, the university distanced itself from Dr. Dossa's decision to attend the conference, which has been roundly denounced internationally. Dr. Riley said faculty members have the right to free speech, but stressed that Dr. Dossa isn't receiving any university money to be in Iran.
"Despite all that, it's still our name and he still works at our university," he said. "So I want to make it very clear . . . that the university is not lending any credibility, not an ounce of credibility, to the exercise that occurred in Tehran."
He added: "I think there's going to be a lot of discussion about the appropriateness of attending the conference, that's for sure. I'm already expecting to have different things suggested within the university community. It's not appropriate at this point to map out any specific things that will happen."
Dr. Dossa knew full well what the conference was about and who was going to show up. The Iranian government had been planning this event for months and calling on academics the world over to come. For some weeks before the event, the symposium was in the news, and Tehran made no secret of what the focus would be.
And Dr. Dossa went all the same.
So much for his "surprise. He's seeing his tenure at risk and backpedalling as hard as he can.
Source: Globe and Mail