skip to content

Cambridge Interfaith Programme


Walking the tightrope: Freedom of expression at a time of conflict

The October 7th attack by Hamas on Israel and the ensuing war in the Gaza Strip compelled many, especially scholars, to take public positions. The constraints of the debate in the German public sphere are specific, emotional, often alienating to everyone not deemed 'German enough,' and paralyzing for peace advocates.

In pursuit of dialogue, understanding, and renewed connections, Off-University is organizing this conversation-format discussion led by Professor Esra Özyürek (Cambridge) and Professor Irit Dekel (Indiana). Together, they will delve into the intricacies of freedom of speech in Germany, the UK and the US following the recent events.

Özyürek’s book, Subcontractors of Guilt: Holocaust Memory and Muslim Belonging in Postwar Germany, will provide a starting point. Özyürek and Dekel will also draw on their collaborative research, which includes co-published articles and the Entangled Otherings network.


The link for participation will be available from Off-University shortly before the event. Those wishing to attend should register by email to mail @

Please note: This event starts at 18:30 Central European Time, 17:30 UK-time. Advance registration is essential.

About the organisers

Off-University is a Germany-based non-profit seeking to enable academics in exile to collaborate and foster open learning as a counter-point to the threat of anti-democratic and authoritarian regimes. While its origins lie with Turkish academics, Off-University’s reach is worldwide, embracing any and all academics “who have been purged from their institutions, forced to resign, who are legally and politically persecuted and even imprisoned because of their opinion and research”. Its approach is emancipatory, minimising hierarchies and employing state-of-the-art digital communication to extend education and collaboration to those unable to move and participate freely. Further information is available on the Off-University website (

About the speakers

Özyürek and Dekel lead the DAAD-funded network, Entangled Otherings, together with partners at TU Berlin and Birkbeck.

Tuesday, 5 March, 2024 - 17:30
Contact email: 
Event location: 
Online (hosted by Off-University)

Latest news

Call for papers: Seeing Muslimness

28 March 2024

An interdisciplinary conference for scholars, researchers, and practitioners, co-convened by Madiha Noman—a PhD student in the Faculty of English and affiliate of the Cambridge Interfaith Research Forum—and Abdul Sabur Kidwai of King’s College London. Deadline for submissions: 30 April 2024.

Event report: Celebrating South Asia’s sonic spaces

18 March 2024

Earlier this month, Hina Khalid and Ankur Barua co-hosted a Mehfil— a “gathering to entertain or praise”, to extend students’ exposure to South Asian soundscapes. The event...

Exploring religion and economic development

15 March 2024

In January, Professor Sriya Iyer began work on the Social Consequences of Religion initiative, a multistrand programme from the Templeton Religion Trust. Iyer is leading...