by Joy LoDico
The Independent on Sunday
19 November 2005

This is a report having to do with the meeting of Ted Honderich with the journalist Nick Cohen, and the subsequent article in the New Statesman.

Journalist Nick Cohen has not had the last word afer his curious interview with Ted Honderich in the latest New Statesman. Cohen went to challenge Honderich, the Grote Professor Emeritus of Mind and Logic at University College London, about the post-9/11 world, but walked out halfway through the interview and penned a point-scoring and antagonistic report of the meeting. Honderich was unimpressed with Cohen, likening his ability to grasp the issues as equal to that of "a first year undergraduate". Cohen, also a columnist with The Observer, stated from the start that he took issue with Honderich's view that the West bears some blame for the rise of terrorism.

Honderich now intends, at the least, to print a "full response" to the piece on his website. "He [Cohen] is either not very bright or he is a partisan, seemingly a malign one, or quite conceivably both," says Honderich. "I've been interviewed, say, 100 times, and I've never experienced a non-interview like that one. It consisted of him blustering on about Islamofascism. In the end I decided not to be 'interviewed' by this character but to stick in some of my own words along the way. It was principally him come to lecture the professor. It [the article] is perilously close to the libel of anti-Semitism. It would be hard to read the piece without getting that suggestion.

"I am not an anti-Semite and I invite anyone to lay hold of my current book Humanity, Terrorism, Terrorist War: Palestine, 9/11, Iraq, 7/7... and consider whether those are the opinions of an anti-Semite."

You can go to Ted Honderich's reflections on the Cohen article and the article itself, and a reply to the article in the New Statesman, and an article on Cohen and David Aaronovitch from the Guardian website 'Comment is Free'.

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