Sir Isaac Newton’s historical legacy amounts to “colonial-era activity” and must be scrapped to “decolonise” the engineering curriculum at Sheffield University in the UK.
Newton, who lived until 1727, laid the foundations of modern science with his theory of gravity as well as theories on light, time, colour and calculus. Newton is the latest historical figure to succumb to a drive to “decolonise” campuses, which has intensified in the wake of Black Lives Matter riots.
In his work Principia, Newton formulated the laws of motion and universal gravitation. He used his mathematical description of gravity to derive Kepler’s laws of planetary motion, account for tides, the trajectories of comets, the precession of the equinoxes and other phenomena, eradicating all doubt about the Solar System’s heliocentricity. In fact, his equation for universal gravitation, written in 1666 when he was 23, ended more than a thousand years of Aristotelian thinking.
But Newton’s three laws of motion, the core of modern physics, must now give way to the “global origins and historical context” of his theories. The engineering faculty plans to “challenge long-standing conscious and unconscious biases” among students to tackle “Eurocentric” and “white saviour” approaches to science and maths, and promote “inclusive design”.
A leaked copy of the “draft inclusive curriculum development” obtained the the London weekly, Sunday Telegraph stated that “much important engineering content and curriculum resources is based on maths developed in the 18/19th century” while pioneering scientists including Paul Dirac, Pierre-Simon Laplace, Newton, and Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz “could be considered as benefiting from colonial era activity”.
It is not clear how Newton benefited from colonialism. He held shares in the South Sea Company that traded in slaves but he lost £20 000 – a fortune at the time – after the company ran into financial difficulties.
His biographer James Gleick, commented on the drive to eradicate his contribution: “Whether Newton’s foolish investment in South Sea shares in 1720 means that he participated in the slave trade is arguable. I would say that all England benefited from colonialism.”
The “decolonisation” drive is not new. Last month, an Oxford professor denounced musical notation as “colonialist” in order to challenge the “complicity in white supremacy” of composers such as Mozart and Beethoven.
According to a consultant who runs diversity workshops at multiple top universities in Britain, the decolonisation drive is shifting from humanities courses to sciences. He told The Telegraph that the sector was being “captured” by “critical race theory in all but name”.
The diversity officer admitted that these measures aimed at “decolonising” science were not about equality, diversity and inclusion. “This is something different altogether. It is blatantly teaching people to be activists.” Prof Frank Furedi, a sociologist at Kent University, agreed. “It’s a way of socialising students into feeling that something is wrong with their own background, the life of their ancestors and inducing guilt.”
A Sheffield spokesman said: “Decolonising the curriculum is an ongoing process which prompts us to incorporate historically marginalised or suppressed knowledge into all disciplines … so all our students have the opportunity to see themselves reflected in what they are being taught.”
But introducing “wokeism” to science, evokes the famous quote by Newton: “I can calculate the motion of heavenly bodies, but not the madness of people.”
A couple of days ago, we reported on another one of those stories that was too ludicrous, to unbelievable, too authoritarian to be true. But it was. A judge in Germany, after studying all the evidence on children and masks, determined that making children wear masks at school all day was bad for them and it was illegal to force it on them and ordered an end to mask mandates in schools within his jurisdiction. The police then raided his home and took all his electronics and the usual sorts of things we are starting to become acclimatized to in our post-revolutionary neo-communist world now.
Here is a LIVE protest in Germany over what the state did to this judge. Amplified of course because normally we would consider a judge to be part of the state. But the revolutionary Vs. counter-revolutionary aspects of contemporary politics is out in the open now.
A 20-year-old man who allegedly tried to kill his 17-year-old girlfriend in Linz in October last year has stood trial on Friday for attempted murder. The accused does not admit to having intended to kill the teenager, the whole crime had happened “unintentionally” or “by mistake”, he said. Still on the day of the crime, the Afghan is said to have declared that he would “cause a bloodbath” and that he would do again and again what he had done with his girlfriend.
According to the indictment, the 20-year-old asylum seeker, who has been in Austria for five years, and the 17-year-old, who lives in a residential group, had an on-off relationship. They have a common two-year-old son who lives with a foster family. There had been frequent arguments about visiting rules, the accused described. His ex-girlfriend, on the other hand, said that he had been very jealous and had often called her names. He had also once said that he would “chop her head off” if she turned to somebody else. However, he had never physically assaulted her before.
On October 18, the couple again had an argument in the 17-year-old’s room. In the course of the argument, the 20-year-old allegedly took a knife from the kitchen and stabbed his girlfriend in the neck. Eventually, she managed to take the knife away from him, whereupon he fetched another one, the prosecutor said. In total, the woman suffered eight stab wounds, mostly to the neck. The prosecution considers this an attempted murder.
The accused pleaded guilty and eloquently described the quarrel with his son’s mother, “she caused me a lot of problems”. But when the judge asked him if or how he had stabbed, he remained vague: “I lost control, I don’t know how it happened”, he said, another time he answered: “We had a scuffle. In the commotion, the knife struck her neck”, or “the knife somehow got in her throat”.
According to the indictment, the victim begged the 20-year-old to let her call the ambulance. He allowed the girlfriend to do so on the condition that she said she had injured herself. In fact, the young woman stated this to the first responders and only told them about the attack by her boyfriend in hospital. The boyfriend was also taken to hospital. There he is said to have behaved very aggressively and to have announced a “bloodbath”. However, he does not remember this exactly. Perhaps he had said something “in his sleep or in a dream” or was not understood so well because of the language barrier, he assumed.
The psychiatric expert Adelheid Kastner certified the defendant’s sanity. Although she considered him “not entirely harmless”, she did not see the necessity of imprisonment. She described the 20-year-old, who had apparently never been educated, as intellectually only moderately gifted, excitable and with “a flexible attitude to facts”. He had attracted negative attention several times in previous care facilities, among other things because of a “certain affinity for knives”, and there were also drug problems.
The police records show that the accused repeatedly told different versions of the events. During questioning, he claimed that his girlfriend had attacked him with a knife and choked him. The young woman was stunned during the questioning: “None of this is true, not a single word.
The jury is not expected to reach a verdict until later that night.
At the beginning of October, a raid by the tax authorities on 211 Turkish-Islamic institutions made headlines. Seven months later, there are now new explosive details about alleged tax tricks. Millions in cash are said to have been paid for properties in Vienna, and an Erdogan association even received Corona aid.
As reported, operators of cultural associations, mosques, Islamic kindergartens and schools are being targeted. And the investigators are demanding millions back from almost half of the controlled institutions of four umbrella organisations – among them Sultan Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s extended arm ATIB. The people concerned, however, deny all accusations.
The accusations of the tax authorities are explosive: In contrast to the alleged non-profit status due to donations, money was cashed in on weddings, Islamic festivities and funerals including catering and even pilgrimages. The money was also allegedly used to buy real estate in Vienna in cash. Due to the lack of records or receipts, the investigation is difficult and time-consuming.
The fact that an Erdogan association is said to have received Corona subsidies from Vice-Chancellor Werner Kogler’s fund, which was actually intended for fire brigades or aid organisations, has caused a stir in tax advisor circles.
New Flemish Alliance (N-VA) MP Mathias Vanden Borre filmed an assault on him by Africans in broad daylight in Brussels. “I was attacked, stomped, beaten, and almost robbed,” Vanden Borre told a Flemish daily. The MP was able to flee but sustained injuries. The police have confirmed the story and are conducting an investigation.
The events occurred at around 5pm in Brussels in the Essegem neighborhood, reported Het Laatste Nieuws about the attack on Mathias Vanden Borre. “I was with my wife and my 7-day-old son visiting a photographer. While my wife and my son were still inside, I went out for a walk around the block,” said Vanden Borre. The N-VA member of Parliament knows the area because he himself lives nearby.
“Suddenly six or seven young guys came walking behind me. They began yelling at me to intimidate me. I grabbed my cell phone and began to film. Then they came closer. I first got a kick in my side, then a blow on my jaw. One of them tried to steal my cell phone. Then I ran.”
Vanden Borre was able to escape, but the African mob ran after him. “Then I ran another 500 meters and called the police.” They were at the scene within a few minutes with several teams, according to the MP.
“My jaw is swollen, and I suffer from ringing in the ears,” says Vanden Borre, who visited a doctor on the same afternoon and has been booked off work for three days. He has no idea why the youths attacked him. “They came after me out of nowhere,” said Vanden Borre.
A police spokesperson confirmed to HLN that an investigation of the attack was in progress. Whether the perpetrators have been caught is not clear. “A police officer immediately recognized one of the guys from my images. So I assume that they are well-known to the police,” Vanden Borre added. He hopes that the images taken, which he has put on social media, will help in the identification of his attackers.
They each got their personal photo of the Turkish president: Kemal Ergün, the chairman of the Islamic Community Milli Görüs based in Cologne, his colleague from the Turkish religious umbrella organisation Ditib, Kazim Türkmen, Durmus Yildirim, head of the far-right Grey Wolves umbrella organisation Atib – and Köksal Kus, new chairman of the European AKP lobby organisation UID.
All of them and other representatives of German-Turkish organisations were invited to Ankara this week and were welcomed by Recep Tayyip Erdogan and the Turkish Defence Minister Hulusai Akar. Photos of the meeting were disseminated by the Turkish government on the internet. The content of the talks was not made public.
Nevertheless, the politically explosive trip reveals a lot about the efforts of the Turkish ruling party AKP to influence the Turkish community in Germany. This is what Burak Copur, a researcher on Turkey and political scientist based in Essen, believes.
In an interview with the newspaper WELT, Copur emphasised the “remarkable timing” of the delegation’s trip. It coincides with a time of intense discussion in Germany about the Grey Wolves and the AKP lobby organisation UID. The pressure on the organisations is currently increasing, Copur states. The meeting in Ankara is therefore a “call for help to Erdogan”.
For years, experts have pointed to the close ties of the participating organisations to the Turkish government. Erdogan’s meeting with representatives of UID, Ditib, Milli Görüs, Atib, the business association Müsiad and the Federation of Turkish Democratic Idealist Associations in Germany (ADÜTDF), which is also part of the Grey Wolves movement, has a “new dimension”. All the organisations and institutions that are important in the AKP’s network are involved. Apparently, they had come to the conclusion that “a common strategy” was needed.
Apparently, the organisations are looking for a way out of the crisis. German politicians have recently spoken more clearly regarding the activities of AKP-affiliated lobby groups and Turkish nationalists. During the visit of the German delegation, Mustafa Sentop, Speaker of the Turkish Parliament, said: “It is important that we jointly oppose the attacks on our country, our flag, our citizens and our state property within the framework of the law.
Last November, the German Parliament approved a motion by the Christian Democratic Union/Christian Social Union (CDU/CSU), the Social Democratic Party (SPD), the Free Democratic Party (FDP) and the Green Party (Greens), which called on the federal government to consider banning the Grey Wolf associations. However, high legal hurdles have prevented this so far. A study commissioned by the American Jewish Committee in Berlin has just put the number of members of the nationalist movement at just under 18,500. This means that the group remains the most powerful right-wing extremist organisation in Germany. The report on the protection of the constitution for 2019 states: “The different forms include classical racism as well as the fringes of Islamism”.
The German government describes the UID as a lobbying association supervised by AKP functionaries, which tries to “influence the political decision-making process in Germany in favour of the AKP”. Criticism of the Islamic associations Ditib and Milli Görüs also continues.
Copur expects a reaction from Ankara to the increasingly critical words. “We have to fear,” warns the political scientist, “that the meeting was also about how to deal with Erdogan critics in Germany in the future”.
ADÜTDF President Sentürk Dogruyol also posted a photo on social media showing a meeting with the leader of the far-right Turkish party MHP Devlet Bahceli. Copur is concerned about the picture: “To all appearances, files were exchanged there. We have to expect that these talks will have repercussions in Germany.” The meeting of the participants with Turkish Defence Minister Hulusi Akar also catches the eye, he says. What are associations that also indirectly sit at the table at the Islam Conference looking for with the Turkish defence minister?” asks Copur.
Atib is the largest member organisation of the Central Council of Muslims, which in turn is a member of the German state Islam Conference. In the latest report of the Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution, Atib is said to have an ideology “which represents an exaltation of Turkishness and is characterised by a pronounced thinking in terms of friend and foe, which leads to systematic devaluation of other ethnic groups or religions, in particular the Kurds and Judaism”.
Expert Copur therefore takes the Federal Ministry of the Interior (BMI) to task. “The BMI must ask itself how it can be that a right-wing extremist organisation like the Atib is allowed to be involved in the Islam Conference in Germany while it is making politics in Turkey alongside Erdogan,” criticises Copur.