Cambridge University withdrew Jordan Peterson visiting fellowship over 'proud Islamophobe' T-shirt

Jordan Peterson's views on gender are controversial.Wikimedia Commons

The offer of a visiting fellowship to Dr Jordan Peterson was rescinded because of a photograph of the academic with a man wearing a 'proud Islamophobe' T-shirt, Cambridge University has confirmed. 

In a statement, Vice-Chancellor Professor Stephen J Toope said the university had last week become aware of the photograph in which Peterson is seen standing with his arm around a man wearing a T-shirt with the slogan "I'm a proud Islamophobe". 

"The casual endorsement by association of this message was thought to be antithetical to the work of a Faculty that prides itself in the advancement of inter-faith understanding," said Prof Toope. 

"As a consequence of this, the Faculty's Research Committee reviewed its original decision to award a visiting fellowship and concluded that the offer should be rescinded.

"As is normal, neither the decision to invite Professor Peterson, nor to rescind the invitation, were brought to the attention of the senior leadership team until after they had been made." 

Dr Peterson is a University of Toronto professor and the author of the bestselling book '12 Rules for Life'. 

He has courted controversy in the past for his views on gender, particularly his refusal to refer to transgender people by their chosen pronoun. 

He said in a statement last week that he had planned to use the visiting fellowship at Cambridge to research a series of lectures on Exodus. 

In a scathing response to the rescindment of his visiting fellowship, he condemned the university's decision as a "serious error of judgment" and said that the Faculty of Divinity's behaviour had been "narcissistic, self-congratulatory and devious".

"Finally, I thought that making myself more knowledgeable about relevant Biblical matters by working with the experts there would be of substantive benefit to the public audience who would eventually receive the resultant lectures," he said.

"Now the Divinity school has decided that signaling their solidarity with the diversity-inclusivity-equity mob trumps that opportunity."