Edinburgh student who ridiculed ISIS online investigated for Islamophobia
A law student has become subject of an investigation by his university after allegedly mocking Islamic State (formerly ISIL/ISIS) on social media and undermining minority students’ safety.
Robbie Travers, a third-year-law student at Edinburgh University, is being investigated after an official who carried out the preliminary investigation claimed he had committed a “hate crime.” No criminal investigation, however, has been opened by the police.
Travers posted the allegedly-racist material on Facebook in the aftermath of the US Air Force bombing an IS stronghold in Afghanistan back in April.
“Excellent news that the US administration and Trump ordered an accurate strike on an IS network of tunnels in Afghanistan.
“I'm glad we could bring these barbarians a step closer to collecting their 72 virgins,” Travers wrote.
Although he acknowledged that his comments were highly opinionated, Travers denied they were of a racist nature.
“I am deeply worried that I am being investigated for comments which are expressions of opinion in a jovial way . . . I do not incite the harassment or racist treatment, nor attack anyone with an illegal suggestion or suggest, indeed, that they be deprived of their human rights,” he said, according to the Times.
The investigation was prompted by a complaint filed by second-year history student Esme Allman, who said Travers’ comments amounted to “blatant Islamophobia.”
Allman filed a complaint saying, “Not only do I believe this behaviour to be in breach of the student code of conduct, but his decision to target the BME Liberation Group at the University of Edinburgh, and how he has chosen to do so, puts minority students at risk and in a state of panic and fear while attending the University of Edinburgh.”
However according to the Times, Travers said the complaint came in retaliation to him highlighting that Allman, who is also the former black and ethnic minority convener of the university’s Students’ Association, had said all black men are “trash.”
Allman identifies herself online as “a self-proclaimed feminist” seeking to create an all-inclusive community.
“I value inclusivity as well as building and preserving safe spaces for us. Creating a truly intersectional campaign is incredibly important to me and my first job will be to work alongside the other liberation groups to ensure EUSA are fully representative of our views.”
A university spokesman confirmed that “complaints alleging misconduct have been received against Mr. Travers and these are being investigated.
“We are committed to providing an environment in which all members of the university community treat each other with dignity and respect and our code of student conduct sets out clear expectations of behaviour,” the Times quoted him as saying.