At Sciences Po Grenoble, a year after accusations of Islamophobia, the atmosphere remains tense.

– Is it anonymous? The direct question of this student from the Institute for Political Studies (IOP) in Grenoble (Isère) is revealing. At this institution, tensions over a disagreement over two teachers are struggling to subside a year after the events. On March 4, 2021, posters were indeed pasted on the facade of the building: “Fascists in our amphitheaters”, “Islamophobia kills”they mentioned. Particular attention was paid to two teachers who were directly accused of Islamophobia. Today, these events leave a bitter aftertaste for many students and teachers.

“The atmosphere is special”cautiously continues this third-year student, who believes that not everyone can express themselves freely. “What people are afraid of is losing their friends overnight, being alone. Many students are afraid of this and therefore do not want to enter into debates and exchanges.”

According to him, the discussion “no longer a habit” the institution has 2,000 students. “I can’t tell you that you will be ostracized, but I can at least tell you that there is a risk of going against the doxa that exists in Sciences Po.” Some students disagree and argue that speech is free. Still others regret that their school is named after these contradictions. Many simply refuse to respond to Franceinfo.

“This is a record of the surrender of most of the teachers who are moderates who allowed this. Management and students too.postulates, for his part, Klaus Kinzler. He is one of the teachers accused of Islamophobia. The one who has since been suspended – management accuses him of “slanderous remarks” – describes the current atmosphere as “harmful”, “worse than a year ago”claiming that students “Fear” and that the institution refuses to take lessons controversy.

“This is the institute where we do indoctrination. A minority of teachers do it in a shameless and incredible way. No one protests while we see that we live in fear.”

Klaus Kinzler, Grenoble IEP Professor, Suspended

on Franceinfo

Klaus Kinzler published the book on March 2, Islamo-leftism did not kill meto tell your version of the facts. He calls “a miserable microcosm where we abolish freedom and the rule of law. We think everything is fine and that’s the way it should be.” He says he is convinced that, however, “potential” at the Institute for Political Studies. “rebuild” new establishment with “two-thirds“teachers. “To do this, we need to get rid of the liberticidal and ideological forces that believe that science and ideology should be linked.” According to him, it is required “bravery”.

Some teachers refute this harsh portrait painted by Klaus Kinzler. “Ihe actively discusses the fight against discrimination, the place of Islam in our society and the French identity. We also see this at the national level: it generates clashes and contradictions. IEP is not completely extracted from it”, says Simon Persico, professor of political science. He acknowledges that the climate is not entirely serene, but refuses to talk about fear.

“Students are very politicized, so they are very interested in these issues. There are quite radical activists who occupy strong positions.”

Simon Persico, Grenoble IEP Professor of Political Science

on Franceinfo

According to him, these strong positions give rise to “quite a heated debate”. He believes that more peaceful debate is the key to improving the atmosphere: “IWe need to ensure that we can debate calmly while respecting opposing views. We have lost that peace, and perhaps this crisis will allow us to regain it.

In an attempt to calm this atmosphere, the IEP created a committee of personalities, a kind of “council of the wise.” “IIt is necessary to re-mobilize this vast silent majority of people who are intelligent and committed to the values ​​of debate and scientific exchange, to show that they are at the center of the institute, and not the active and very articulate minority that stood at the beginning. controversyassures political scientist Olivier Costa, coordinator of this committee.

Unlike some students, he believes that self-censorship is not the core of the problem. “The idea is that people get involved in their organization again and understand that it is made up of the vast majority of people who are absolutely reasonable and capable of dialogue. Only a minority systematically engages in very divided and violent debates.” In particular, a series of round tables on freedom and debate is organized for students and teachers. Many would like, above all, to be able to move on. Contacted, the management of the IEP did not want to talk.

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