Should Harvard Honor Martin Peretz?

September 16, 2010

Some at Harvard University question whether the university should honor Martin Peretz, the editor of The New Republic, in light of one of his recent blog posts, The Boston Globe reported. In the post, he wrote: “Frankly, Muslim life is cheap, most notably to Muslims,’’ and argued that Muslims have hardly “raised a fuss about the routine and random bloodshed that defines their brotherhood.... So yes, I wonder whether I need honor these people and pretend that they are worthy of the privileges of the First Amendment which I have in my gut the sense that they will abuse." He has since apologized and said that he doesn't believe that, but critics at Harvard say this is not a time to go ahead with plans to name an undergraduate research fund in his honor. Alumni and others have raised $500,000 for the fund. Peretz taught at Harvard for 40 years. Harvard issued a statement indicating that it has no intention of blocking the honor, saying that “it is central to the mission of a university to protect and affirm free speech, including the rights of Dr. Peretz, as well as those who disagree with him, to express their views.’’

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