Anthony Hall

West cracks down on universitities for open debates on Holocaust: Canadian Professor

If academic freedom is not to be respected in institutions of supposedly higher learning then there can be no basis for freedom of speech in environments not subject to the protections of tenure. The first to suffer the crackdown in universities will be our students.

Dr. Anthony J.Hall is a Professor of Globalization Studies at the University of Lethbridge in Alberta Canada. Professor Hall is the editor-in-chief of the American Herald Tribune. He is author of several books, including a two-volume publishing project at McGill-Queen's University Press entitled "The Bowl with One Spoon"; American Empire and the Fourth World: The Bowl with One Spoon, Part I (McGill-Queen's Native and Northern) Earth into Property: Colonization, Decolonization, and Capitalism: The Bowl with One Spoon, Part II (Mcgill-Queen's Native and Northern Series). The Part II edition was recently selected by The UK Independent as one of the best books of 2010. The Journal of the American Library Association called Earth into Property, "A scholarly tour de force." The books aim to set the 9/11 catastrophe and post 9/11 Wars in the context of global history, since 1492. Dr. Hall has been suspended and harshly pulled from his classroom, in mid-term without any process of arbitration: namely, for having expressed his viewpoints on Israeli crimes, calling for an open debate on the Holocaust and 9/11, despite being promoted to a Full Professor rank through a process of peer review. In an exclusive interview with Professor Hall elaborates on how academic freedom is perceived and practiced in the West:


Ayatollah Khamenei has stated that "genuine freedom of thought will help the country to progress. In the absence of a free intellectual atmosphere, there can be no opportunity for growth." How do you-- as a Professor-- perceive it?


I reflected very self-consciously on the prospects of contributing to the progress of my country Canada when I opted in the mid to late 1970s to go to graduate school at the University of Toronto. With the great Canadian historian, J.M.S. Careless, as my Ph.D. Supervisor I made a commitment to study the history of colonial relations with the First Nations of Canada. My course of study took me in 1982 to my first appointment in the Native Studies Department at the University of Sudbury. The University of Sudbury was in those years a Jesuit-run entity. It formed the institutional seed from which the secular Laurentian University would emerge in the decades prior to my appointment there.


For the next two decades I was able to work from my academic bases in Sudbury and then in Lethbridge Alberta beginning in 1990. At the invitation of the Leroy Little Bear, the Chair of the Department of Native American Studies I thus moved to the resource-rich province of Alberta. Once again I was motivated to make the transition in my professional work with the hope my I could contribute constructively to the progress of our country from an academic base in Western Canada.


In my years as a young professor I took an active part in four First Nations/First Ministers conferences that took place in Ottawa between 1983 and 1987. The purpose of these conferences was to negotiate a constitutional amendment to give greater definition to the phrase, “the existing Aboriginal and treaty rights of the Aboriginal peoples of Canada are hereby recognized and affirmed.” (Section 35, Constitution Act, 1982).


Section 35 was part of the text of the instrument facilitating the movement of authority over Canada’s constitutional structure from the British imperial Mother Country to the domestic institutions of Canadian federalism.


The culmination of my contributions to the formulation of a made-in-Canada version of the Canadian constitution involved my opposition between 1987 and 1990 to what became known as the Meech Lake accord. If this political deal between Canada’s First Ministers had become constitutional law, the First Nations of Canada would have been excluded from a very powerful legal definition of Canada’s “fundamental characteristic.”


In academic essays, in the mainstream media and in presentations to various legislative committees, I contributed to public awareness of the negative implications of the Meech Lake accord for fair-minded Canadians supportive of existing Aboriginal and treaty rights. More specifically I contributed to the strength of the platform from which an Oji-Cree parliamentarian by the name of Elijah Harper used his veto power in the Manitoba Legislature to block the ratification of the Meech Lake accord. Because of Elijah Harper’s actions the Meech Lake accord did not become part of Canada’s “supreme law.”


I was able to contribute to discourse crucial to the progress of Canada until about the year 2000. Between 2000 and 2002 I had to adjust my work away from the activities of the Department of Native American Studies towards a field of my own making, Globalization Studies. I prepared two academic volumes to lay the academic foundation and methodological framework for my transition to a new academic role. The core focus of my emphasis on “Globalization Studies” was Indigenous peoples in encounter with colonialism globally from 1492 until the present.


It is in this context and with the encouragement of my very accomplished student, Joshua Blakeney, that I began to shift focus towards the treatment of Palestinian and other Arab peoples in the region of Greater Israel, Eretz Israel. It was Joshua who also led me to my first interactions with Iranian journalists resulting in my participation in the New Horizon conference of the autumn of 2014. As I have described in writing elsewhere this episode proved to make a major positive impact on me.


Due to the intervention of my colleague, the Mohawk activist Splitting The Sky, I also began to see the events of 9/11 as a major factor in the shaping of the global geopolitics in the twenty-first century.


My quest for new academic turf at the University of Lethbridge has sometimes been bumpy and contested. Certainly many major obstacles were put in the way of my promotion to full professor. Eventually my academic peers were allowed to make their input into the promotion process apart from the artificial blockages thrown up by my University administration. In 2008 after what I took to be my obtaining a position of intellectual and professional security as a senior faculty member, I resolved that henceforth I would pursue difficult lines of research and publication. I made this decision with an understanding that less secure younger colleagues might eschew such a course of action.


I have made no secret of the fact that I see the recent surrender of the high ground of academic freedom by the members of the administration of the University of Lethbridge as an indicator that Canada is on a downwards spiral. It seems to me there is a move a foot to sabotage the intellectual freedom of our universities. If academic freedom is not to be respected in institutions of supposedly higher learning, then there can be no basis for freedom of speech in environments not subject to the protections of tenure.

The first to suffer the crackdown in universities will be our students. They will have to deal with the fact that the treatment visited on me indicates it has become dangerous to ask pointed questions which might produce answers embarrassing to power. Our country, Canada, cannot progress to higher levels of discourse and achievement under these repressive conditions. 


Ayatollah Khamenei believes "exchanging viewpoints and opinions are in the nature of academic work"; How is this principle practiced at Lethbridge University?


I agree that exchanging viewpoints and opinions is a central aspect of academic work within universities and between universities. I found that there was a good deal of openness to the exchange of information and ideas with colleagues, media and public officials in the years between 1982 and 2001 when the core of my academic work revolved around the history of Canada-First Nations relations.


Unfortunately I would have to say that the obstacles to the exchange of information and ideas began to mount significantly after 2008 when I began to question the official narrative of what happened on 9/11. Who really did what to whom during the initiating events of what soon became known as the Global War on Terror? As I began to become skeptical of the official narrative I noticed more and more inclination on the part of colleagues to distance themselves from the subjects that captured my professional interest. To put it bluntly, I suppose it became clear to me that, for a number of reasons, it was not a good career move for younger colleagues to show interest in the subject of 9/11 specifically and false flag terrorism more generally.


As I began to look more deeply into the existing research on 9/11 I was simultaneously drawn to the subject of war crimes and international law. My collaboration with Splitting The Sky became more intense when we went to work to organize in response to the decision of the former US President, George W. Bush, to give a talk in Calgary in 2009 as his first public engagement as (theoretically) a regular civilian citizen. Our collective action in Calgary in the spring of 2009 led to a trial that we dubbed Splitting The Sky versus George W. Bush. Although I had not yet associated the lies and crimes of 9/11 with Israel First protagonists, I ran into my first Zionist pushback for my 9/11 studies when I presented my essay, “Should George W. Bush Be Arrested in Calgary, Alberta, To Be Tried For International Crimes?” I originally presented the paper at an invited talk at the University of Winnipeg.


My essay eventually ended up as an exhibit in the litigation that we referred to as Splitting The Sky versus George W. Bush. Our stance was that the former US President should have been arrested in Canada for being a credibly-accused war criminal. We were far from alone in bringing forward evidence that Bush had violated many international covenants and conventions against, for instance, prohibited torture. Not only had he arguably violated international law but it seemed the former US President had violated Canada’s own Crimes Against Humanity and War Crimes Act. The legislated had passed through Parliament with the view that Canada should not become a haven for war criminals.


In pursuing this line of analysis I faced my first allegations that somehow my academic inquiry was anti-Semitic.


As I worked on this subject, one that I integrated into my pedagogy, it became clear to me that we have never seen anything but victor’s justice when it comes to the enforcement of international law against those that commit war crimes, crimes against humanity, crimes against the peace and crimes against democracy. It seems that only those on the losing side of military conflicts are ever brought to justice. Those on the “winning” side, the stronger side, are invariably held to be above the law.

This line of scholarly investigation did result in various channels of academic exchange opening up for me with colleagues in my own university and other universities. The most fruitful collaboration to develop, however, was that with Dr. Kevin Barrett who had lost his academic position at the University of Wisconsin for incorporating 9/11-related subjects into his research and pedagogy.

For sure I should not be made to feel so alone in the academy when it comes to the study of 9/11, the most transformative event of the twenty-first century. In my view the academic institutions in North America and Europe have failed abysmally in the study of false flag terrorism starting with the events of 9/11. I am particularly appalled by how this failure on the part of our institutions of higher learning has contributed to the rise of Islamophobia as the necessary psychological condition giving license to those promoting the invasions of Muslim-majority countries.


In a meeting with President Rouhani and his Cabinet, the Leader of the Islamic Revolution said: "When it comes to caricatures insulting the sanctities of Islam, the West suddenly becomes an advocates of freedom and the freedom of expression. However, when it comes to the Holocaust, there is no freedom of expression!" Why do you think we witness such double standards?


A gross display of double standards plagues the ethnocentric way “freedom” is being defined in the so-called “West.” The psychological operations attending the “We Are Charlie Hebdo” ceremonies on Paris in early 2015 epitomized the hypocrisy. The whole essence of this strange event in the city of Lights seemed to signal that “freedom of speech and expression” in the West is virtually limitless when it comes to demeaning through cartoons of Prophet Mohammed as well as other sacred symbols of Islamic religion. The other side of the same coin are the many prohibitions imposed on, for instance, the French comedian M’bala M’bala Dieudonné.  Dieudonné was barred from entering Canada for his efforts to make humor of the paranoid state of affairs attending any public references to Jews, Jewish institutions or the activities of Israel these days.


One of my discoveries through this period of crisis is the fact that the thought police agents in the B’nai Brith equate my call for open debate on “the holocaust,” and indeed open debate on all subjects, as the equivalent of so-called “holocaust denial.” How many of my colleagues at the University of Lethbridge and in other universities have bent before the harsh intimidation? How many have made themselves proponents of shutting down open debate and allowing censorship from outside the academy to regulate our research, teaching and publication?


There is a controversial quote from Ayatollah Khamenei in which he says' “May God curse all those who put an end to political thoughts, work and endeavor in universities”. What's your take on that? How essential do you think such a perspective is for the academia?


I agree wholeheartedly with the Supreme Leader’s observation. One of the great gifts of the Creator to humans is the gift of reason and rationality. Our application of reason and rationality to our understanding of society will inevitably contribute to political thought, work and endeavor.

This type of applied reason should be especially vital in the work of universities where the highest level of political conception should be able to find expression, elaboration, and receptiveness. Indeed we need to make ourselves expert in Universities at making safe places for the development of political discourse. God curse us in the universities if we cannot be the home for vibrant political discourse.


  • 2016-11-17 19:56
    A fine and informative interview with Prof. Anthony Hall. Having known and work with Prof. Hall via my own publishing business Radical Press for the past 16 years I can safely and proudly state that all which Prof. Hall has spoke of in his interview is in accord with his behaviour and ongoing efforts to bring truth and justice to a world fraught with increasing lies and deception. I have been through a ten year period of intense litigation here in Canada brought on by the same forces of repression and censorship that are currently harassing and impoverishing Prof. Hall for his critical views on 911 and the crimes committed by the foreign state of Israel and know full-well the degree of enmity and hatred that motivates foreign lobby organizations such as B'nai Brith Canada to attack the truth revealers whenever they broach any topic of international criminal activity involving the Zionist state of Israel. Freedom of speech in Canada has been usurped by these foreign entities.
  • 2016-11-17 20:42
    When it comes to Israel, there is freedom of nothing. In that, liberals are worse than conservatives, just like hypocrites are worse than open offenders. At the end it's not even about Israel, it's rather the money god, the one through its Trinity of Money, Sex, and Control has created the most vile form of cancer in our society today. Of course, Islam recognizes ultimate freedom of humans - the viceroy of the Creator and it was all laid out by the prophet and until today that remains the ultimate model of human dignity and divine authority. The west took 1000 years after that to recognize that women have souls, 1200 and more to recognize that blacks are humans (incidentally they remain 3/5th of human as per US constitution) and until now they are fixated by what right can be accorded to the poor, marginalized, aboriginals or heaven forbid Muslims with conscience. Of course, they have no problem anyone devoid of conscience.
  • 2016-11-18 02:30
    With respect, I believe that this Canadian "professor" has misrepresented himself to your publication. It's important to learn at universities, but it's also important that students not be encouraged to pursue fraudulent things that have already been exposed, or that have no reasonable scientific basis. I believe that Professor Hall was teaching 9/11 conspiracies that suggest without proven substantiation that Israel was the "hidden hand" in the 2001 attack in New York and that the 2 towers were pre-wired with explosives to make them collapse. Also Professor Hall is seen in CODOH videos beside people who openly deny that the Holocaust happened, which is fraudulent and is done to promote racism and hatred. Are professors in Iran sometimes fired for malpractice too?