This event occurred on March 24, 2016 but published during our website launch.
A student’s controversial sign calling for all muslims to accept responsibility for jihadi violence was removed by campus security and has sparked an online debate.
James Morris was photographed by student Alise Thomas only minutes after setting up the display.
Ms Thomas posted to unofficial USC Facebook groups with the caption, ‘You should probably take your unwarranted hate and fear mongering elsewhere, man.’
She immediately informed Student Central, with campus security promptly responding to remove the sign.
“I dibber-dobbered and security took it down pretty quick,” she said.
Mr Morris said he didn’t expect such a quick response to his protest.
“I was surprised within ten minutes of putting my bag there, they were there already and telling me to pull it off,” he said.
“They said there’d been quite a number of complaints.”
Mr Morris initially held off his protest to prevent causing offence, but later reconciled his decision as a social experiment to parallel a lecturer’s remarks.
“I made a sign the other day but I decided not to do it because I didn’t want to cause any offence,” he said.
“But there’s a really important matter of principle here, as [a lecturer had] said, ‘all male students must accept responsibility for the culture of violence against women in Australia.’”
He complained via email to the lecturer, which didn’t produce a satisfactory outcome.
“It’s called collective guilt; you’re not allowed to do that,” he said.
Mr Morris believes he was unfairly treated compared to the lecturer apparently making similar claims.
“I’m a total believer in free speech; [that] and the rule of law are the basic building blocks of civilisation,” he said.
“Universities used to be a place to do that.
“Do I believe in the sign?
“Yeah I do, but that wasn’t the point of it.”
A university Head of Department later responded to an enquiry regarding the lecturer’s comments, stating the incident has been resolved.