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Scott-Baumann, Alison (2018) '‘Dual Use Research of Concern’ and ‘Select Agents’: How Researchers Can Use Free Speech to Avoid ‘Weaponising’ Academia.' Journal of Muslims in Europe, 7 (2). pp. 237-261.

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Creating a suspect community is a time-consuming task and requires persistence. Once achieved, it is difficult to undo. In security terms, inspiring fear of dual use is one of many successful methods used to create suspicion. The concept of dual use research of concern (DURC) is the idea that scientific knowledge can be created by the worthy, stolen by the malevolent and used to make war on the innocent. On campus, ideas about Islam are currently often viewed as if Islam epitomises DURC. By this means, a Derridean binary opposition springs up between Islam and the rest, whereby that-which-is-Islam is demeaned and the ‘rest’ is privileged. This emanates from political intervention on campus and creates a risk-averse ‘othering’ approach to students’ interaction with Islam and Muslims and the Western world. In order to demonstrate how this political intervention influences the university curriculum and university life on campus, the term dual use will function here as a heuristic: the ‘metaphor’ of DURC shows how certain government ideologies are being used on campus to ‘weaponise’ ideas about Islam as if they are malevolent. Using a complementary and mutually enhancing combination of philosophy, empirical research and policy analysis, three positive solutions are proposed that show how important it is that academics be aware of national policy: first, in order to make people cognisant of the urgent need to offer alternatives to the British counter terrorism programme ‘Prevent’ and the work of the Charity Commission with student societies; second, to support the work of academic subject associations; and third, to create a useful debate about free speech.

Item Type: Journal Article
Keywords: dual use; research of concern; radicalisation; select agents; freedom of speech; vulnerability: Prevent Duty Guidance; Charity Commission; weaponising; corpus linguistics
SOAS Departments & Centres: Departments and Subunits > School of History, Religions & Philosophies > Department of Religions & Philosophies
ISSN: 2211792X
Copyright Statement: © Alison Scott-Baumann 2018. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the prevailing CC-BY license at the time of publication.
DOI (Digital Object Identifier):
Date Deposited: 13 May 2018 14:27
Funders: Arts and Humanities Research Council

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