An Oxford academic who has been cleared of 'Islamophobia' has revealed he is fearful of being attacked.

Human rights scholar Steven Greer said he was forced to wear a disguise and carry a weapon for his own protection after undergraduates at the University of Bristol Law School complained that elements of his course were ‘racist’ and ‘discriminatory’.

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Mr Greer has since been appointed by the Oxford Institute for British Islam (OIBI), an independent Muslim think tank and research academy, as its research director.

The backlash began when a teaching slide that mentioned the 2015 terror attack on the Paris offices of Charlie Hebdo – a magazine that had published cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad – was described as “Islamophobic rhetoric.”

And a lecture which included “well-attested observations” about the inferior treatment of women and non-Muslims in Islamic states, and the tough penalties handed out under sharia, was said to be “bigoted and divisive”.

Oxford Mail: Professor Steven GreerProfessor Steven Greer (Image: SWNS)

Mr Greer, a Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences and of the Royal Society of Arts, was fully cleared of all wrongdoing last year.

A five-month inquiry, led by a senior academic at Bristol University, found each of the accusations to be baseless.

But the “scurrilous falsehoods by a handful of illiberal students” still led to the removal of the material from the course and left him fearing for his reputation and his life.

Mr Greer, a grandfather-of-three, was so scared for his own safety that he went into hiding.

He grew a long bushy beard and disguised himself in public with false glasses and a pulled-up hoodie to obscure the rest of his face.

He also carried a “sturdy” umbrella and a screwdriver in case he was attacked.

Professor Greer, 66, a leading authority on human rights, particularly with respect to counter-terrorism legislation, said: “I had until last year enjoyed a wonderful career and I believe I had earned the respect of students, colleagues and peers all over the world.

“Almost overnight, however, my name became synonymous with bigotry, racism and Islamophobia – especially on social media - because of a handful of malicious students who set out to ruin my life.

“I was vilified, and my name and reputation were dragged through the mud.

“For my own safety I was forced to act like a fugitive - simply for including academically authoritative, fact-based information in my course that a few militant students took objection to.”


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This story was written by Matthew Norman, he joined the team in 2022 as a Facebook community reporter.

Matthew covers Bicester and focuses on finding stories from diverse communities.

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