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Mar 11 2013

A round-up of commentary on the UCL fiasco

Naturally Maryam is all over the UCL dustup.

Sex segregation not miscommunication

Sexual segregation at a UCL event is a scandal

Institutional incompetence or moral cowardice?

That one is a statement by the Council of Ex-Muslims of Britain.

The Council of Ex-Muslims of Britain was horrified to learn of sex segregation at an Islamist-organised event in University College London last weekend.

Whilst the behaviour of the organisers is wholly predictable (it has since come to light that UCL were repeatedly informed of their intention to segregate the audience beforehand), the university’s failure to uphold such a fundamental principle of equality as non-segregation is staggering.

UCL was the first university in England to be founded on an entirely secular basis and to treat women and men equally in admissions. At this point in time it is unclear whether the university’s complicity in enforcing a gender segregation policy was the result of institutional incompetence or moral cowardice. Regardless, UCL must realise that their reputation as pioneers of equality in academia now risks being reduced to tatters unless action is taken immediately to ensure that this is never allowed to happen again.

For more information, contact:

Maryam Namazie Spokesperson Council of Ex-Muslims of Britain

BM Box 1919,

London WC1N 3XX, UK

tel: +44 (0) 7719166731

+44 (0) 7719166731

email: [email protected]
web: http://ex-muslim.org.uk/

Islamist group banned from UCL for gender apartheid

Margaret Soltan at University Diaries also comments.

When people cave that easily – some American atheist waltzes in and gets pissed off, and the organizers act, well, like a bunch of women – they make it harder for everyone else to make the case that stashing females in the backs of rooms and making them shut their faces is an affirmation of their dignity.

I know, right? Sissies! But actually they didn’t cave, they only pretended to.

And Skeptical Science.

Who won the debate?

Clearly, without saying a single word, even before it had started, Hamza Tzortzis did not. The topic under debate was ”Islam or Atheism: Which Makes More Sense?”, so in just that context, when one side demonstrates that they are intolerant misogynists and willing to impose that by force upon others in the public space then they have instantly lost, because none of that makes any sense at all in the 21st century.

Just because they don’t want girl cooties? Where’s the misogyny in that?

19 comments

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  1. 1
    rnilsson

    As Mah’ tsitzsortz * might have said, mazinks’ez gottiz panz inaJam. Only, backwartz.

    * what wa onze beaten by a nuuze **.

    ** Sorry, the text tranzxripqiomn inot wörkink

  2. 2
    rnilsson

    We apeologooze for the

  3. 3
    slc1

    One of the blogs here stated this morning that this group has now been given the heave ho from UCL. Good riddance to bad medicine.

  4. 4
    evilDoug

    I would be quite surprised if the group has actually been banned at this point.
    The language of the only thing I have seen so far is “we should not allow any further events involving them to take place on UCL premises” (emphasis mine). I strongly suspect this will have to be taken before the governing body of UCL.
    If they are banned, then yippee! I hope that ambitious people in Britain will forward formal notice of the ban to every university on H.T.’s tour itinerary. This, ultimately, could produce a much better outcome than simply having blocked this particular event.

  5. 5
    rnilsson

    Insh’l'h
    Or not, but sort of preferably.
    Anyway, carrion.

  6. 6
    NateHevens, resident SOOPER-GENIUS... apparently...

    And as usual, I’m ninja’d by someone much more qualified than me to do this stuff.

    Thanks, Ophelia. I intend to email these links and more to some of the major news outlets here in the States, like MSNBC, CNN, the Young Turks, and yes, Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert.

    I’m still going to try to put together a timeline of events, but this gives me a damn-near perfect source for it.

  7. 7
    Ophelia Benson

    Awww

  8. 8
    NateHevens, resident SOOPER-GENIUS... apparently...

    Didn’t Chris or somebody alert other universities to what happened and the IERA? I remember reading something somewhere about that, but can’t find it now.

    Anyone?

    Once I have that link (or learn that I imagined it :D), my timeline will be done. It largely features this blog, since I followed the whole story through it.

  9. 9
    Ophelia Benson

    Yes, definitely. I posted about it on Friday. Maybe you didn’t go far back enough?

  10. 10
  11. 11
    NateHevens, resident SOOPER-GENIUS... apparently...

    I went all the way back to your first post on it on March 8… the one with the two updates. I must have missed something. I’ll go back again…

  12. 12
    Ophelia Benson

    Huh, I’m not finding it either. I thought I remembered quoting a lot of what Chris told the Equality Advisor! I’ll look again.

  13. 13
    Ophelia Benson

    I guess I didn’t. Sorry. Check comments though – I added new information in comments some of the time.

  14. 14
    NateHevens, resident SOOPER-GENIUS... apparently...

    Will do…

  15. 15
    NateHevens, resident SOOPER-GENIUS... apparently...

    The timeline has been posted. I couldn’t find anything regarding Chris or someone else contacting other universities about the IERA, but if/when I do, I’ll update the post.

  16. 16
    Ophelia Benson

    Oh, oops – I overlooked the “other universities” part of your question. No, I didn’t report Chris doing that, and I don’t think he did. That’s not a missing piece, as far as I know.

    Sorry for confusion! I was rushing.

  17. 17
    NateHevens, resident SOOPER-GENIUS... apparently...

    Huh… for some reason I have a memory of it… odd…

  18. 18
    Hmmm

    Hmmm. Sorry, wasn’t Dawkins a horrid sexist privileged Old White Male? Nasty and mean and all that, and you had your nice lil’ New Wave, Atheism Plus that was going to sort all this stuff? So, why is it that we hear about this from Dawkins and Krauss, and not you?

    Well?

    Oh.

    Guess the original point about your circus was right after all.

  19. 19
    Ophelia Benson

    Well, no.

    One, I’ve never called Dawkins a horrid sexist privileged Old White Male. I certainly disagree with “Dear Muslima” and with his follow-up comment saying “zero bad” but I can do that without calling him a horrid sexist privileged Old White Male. I for sure don’t use the word “old” as an insult or a pejorative. Your allies however spend an extraordinary amount of time insulting me for being so disgustingly old and disgusting, including photoshops.

    Two, what do you mean “we hear about this from Dawkins and Krauss, and not you?” Notice you’re here. So in fact you have heard about it from me, haven’t you. You’ve heard about it from all three of us, as well as from Chris Moos and Dana Sondergaard and Abishek Phadnis and others. It’s not a competition. There are several sources of information.

    Third, I’m not Atheism Plus, and I really have nothing to do with it.

    Apart from that, your comment is very apt.

  1. 20
    Timeline of the University College London (UCL) Debate Debacle | Atheism, Music, and More…

    [...] finally, Ophelia Benson has a nice round-up of commentary on this whole mess, including a statement by the Council of Ex-Muslims of Britain (hosted on Maryam [...]

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