For his own safety and that of others, the student, who is British, has not been named. During the initial furore surrounding the publication he was taken out of his accommodation and put in a secure place.
Cartoons which had sparked worldwide protests in the Muslim community were reprinted in the edition. The college has promised to take action to prevent a similar incident occurring.
Part of the student’s apology read: “I understand that this edition has caused deep offence and hurt to very many people, both inside and outside Clare, through its derogatory references to individuals and also to various groups, including women, Jews, Christians and Muslims.”
A Clare College spokesman said:
“Because of the gravity of the situation and the diversity of views expressed about the best way of handling it, the Dean of Students set in train procedures for convening the Court of Discipline.
“As events unfolded, however, a collective decision was taken to pursue instead a course of restorative justice and reconciliation.
“The general and the guest editor were both formally reprimanded by the Dean of Students, and were also interviewed by the Master.
The guest editor was required to publish an apology, and also to meet any students who asked to see him as well as senior representatives of Cambridge religious communities.”
A note of apology was distributed to all college members.
The college is now arranging a meeting for next term to discuss the problem of maintaining free speech while avoiding offence. Guidelines for student publications are to be drawn up. The February edition of Clareification was renamed “Crucification” for a special edition on religious satire, with the front page headline: “Ayatollah rethinks stance on misunderstood Rushdie.”
A cartoon used was the same one which caused riots across the world when it was printed in a Danish newspaper.
Asim Mumtaz, president of Cambridge’s Ahmadiyya Muslim Association, welcomed the apology, and said he was satisfied with the way the college had dealt with the situation. He said: “Religion teaches us that God is merciful and forgives, and we should forgive others as well, so long as this student realised the impact of their actions and that this was wrong.
“This student has a full life ahead of him and if he had been thrown out of the university that would have had a huge impact.”
Clare College has not yet reinstated funding for the magazine.