An Oxford college has apologised for hosting a Christian conference. According to The Telegraph, Worcester College Provost David Issac acknowledged the “distress” caused to students by hosting a Christian Concern training camp. Isaac said the profits would be used for “diversity initiatives.”
Isaac is a former chairman of LGBT charity Stonewall and also previously chaired the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC). Ironically, during his time as chair of the EHRC, guidance was issued to Universities to protect free speech and push back against cancel culture.
According to The Telegraph:
Mr Isaac also wrote a blog, Freedom of Speech in Education, in which he set out “core principles”, including “that decisions about speakers and events should seek to promote and protect the right to freedom of expression”.
Yet, Isaac called for an investigation into the hosting of the Christian Concern conference after he’d received a complaint from the Students Union.
Someone representing the union complained to Isaac that students were worried that the conference was Islamophobic as it featured a discussion on the nature of Islam and also that some speakers were pro-conversion therapy.
In response, Worcester College said that they deeply regretted the distress caused and were not aware of the speaker list or content in advance.
They have promised to carry out an urgent review of the booking process.
Christian Concern said its group, made up of around 100 young people, were warmly received by the college and the staff and that the conference ran smoothly with no complaints from students or anyone else.