Student Rights tells us about several university events in London that have been promoted as “fully segregated.”
This even includes events featuring Tzortzis at UCL, with the audience at an event attended by our researcher Rupert Sutton at the School of Pharmacy in October 2012 seating women at the back of the hall and men at the front.
During 2012 Student Rights also logged several events which were advertised in this way, with a speech given by Dr Khalid Fikry at London Metropolitan University in June pronounced “FULLY SEGREGATED!!!”
In January the same was true at London South Bank University, where an event encouraging non-Muslims to attend was advertised as “100 Per Cent Segregated”.
Promotional material for November’s talk by Abu Usamah At-Thahabi at Brunel, which saw protests from students after Thahabi’s views were exposed by Student Rights, also declared “all our events are always segregated to the best of our ability”.
Clearly it’s time to pay more attention to this.
To suggest that what happened at UCL this weekend is a one-off therefore ignores the consistent use of segregation by student Islamic Societies around the country.
Whilst this may be portrayed as voluntary by those who enforce it, the social pressure put on female students to conform to obey these rules should not be underestimated.
One student who attended stated on Saturday highlighted this, saying “I regret not joining my male friends in openly opposing this violation of gender equality in public premises. However, I was genuinely fearful of the repercussions“.
Here at Student Rights we would like to see universities coming clean about why they allow such practices in public spaces, and are glad to see that despite its claims of ignorance, UCL has issued a robust response, barring IERA from campus in future.
Time to push back, people.