A Scottish university has decided to revoke presidential hopeful Donald Trump’s honorary degree following his statements to ban Muslims from entering the United States.
Trump was bestowed the honorary degree by the Robert Gordon University in 2010, recognizing his business activities in northeast Scotland. However, his statement that called for a complete ban on Muslims entering the U.S. “until our country’s representatives can figure out what is going on” – also adding that many Muslims felt “hatred” towards the country – has met with widespread rebuke.
Trump’s statement came in the wake of the San Bernardino shooting, an incident where 14 people were gunned down in a health center.
In a statement on Wednesday, the university announced that it has decided to revoke the degree. “In the course of the current U.S. election campaign, Mr. Trump has made a number of statements that are wholly incompatible with the ethos and values of the university,” a spokesperson wrote.
A petition that calls for the university to strip Trump of the degree was signed by in excess of 7,000 people on Tuesday afternoon. This petition says that Trump’s “unrepentant, persistent verbal attacks on various groups of people based on nationality, religion, race and physical abilities” were “a huge detriment to RGU.” It adds that “hate speech must not have a place in academia, in politics or on the world stage.”
In response, the university said that it was considering revoking the degree. On Wednesday, the statement saying that the degree had been revoked was released.
UK Finance Minister George Osborne said that while the presidential candidate’s remarks were “nonsense,” debate was “the best way to deal with Donald Trump and his views rather than trying to ban presidential candidates.”
As reported by Yahoo News, 24 lawmakers put their names to two House of Commons motions that expressed disapproval of Trump’s remarks. One of these motions urges the government “to refuse a visa allowing Donald Trump to visit the UK until Mr Trump withdraws his comments”.
TIME reports that Trump has at least one other honorary degree from Liberty University. Trump was bestowed with an honorary doctorate of business for his “unwavering and public commitment to our nation’s founding principles of limited government, individual liberty, and the free enterprise system, and in further recognition of his iconic status as one of America’s most successful visionaries and entrepreneurs.”