It’s all about the hits »« Nothing but shame

People’s Front of Students v Students’ Front of People

The Times Higher reports on…well it’s too complicated to paraphrase.

Headline: Students’ unions hit back at group monitoring campus extremism

Subhead: Student Rights’ agenda questioned by LSE, Birkbeck, Goldsmiths unions

The article starts:

Three students’ unions have condemned a group that monitors extremist speakers on campus for “targeting Muslim students”.

Student Rights, which refutes* the students’ unions’ claims, released a report in May 2013 on events organised by Islamic societies that found that a quarter of those it monitored had enforced gender segregation.

That’s what the Times Higher reports on.

And we’re in the weeds right at the outset. I disagree that monitoring for instance Islamist speakers equals “targeting Muslim students.” Equating the two implies that all Muslim students are fans of Islamist speakers, and they’re not.

Isn’t it one of the claims of people who talk about “Islamophobia” that “Islamophobes” equate all Muslims with the most fanatical of Islamists? Yes, it is, so what can be the point of framing things as if monitoring Islamist speakers meant “targeting Muslim students”? Islamists aren’t the friends of liberal Muslims, they’re their deadly enemies.

Last month, unions at the London School of Economics, Goldsmiths, University of London and Birkbeck, University of London all passed motions claiming that the group indulges in “sensationalism” around Muslim students.

These motions have been coordinated by a group called Real Student Rights.

One of its supporters, Hilary Aked, a doctoral student at the University of Bath, argued that the Student Rights report, Unequal Opportunity – Gender Segregation on UK University Campuses, had exaggerated the proportion of events that are segregated because it monitored only Islamic events where the speaker had a history of extreme views, or where gender segregation was explicitly promoted.

So…Student Rights monitors only the reactionary Islamist groups, yet somehow doing that is “targeting Muslim students.” Isn’t it, rather, the opposite of that? Isn’t it not targeting Muslim students, but instead, targeting reactionary Islamist speakers and groups?

She also argued that Student Rights’ focus was disproportionately on Muslim groups, rather than on far Right extremists.

What?

Islamist groups are far Right extremists.

*sic. Should be “rejects”.

Comments

  1. Minnow says

    I think that the gravamen is that Students’ Rights gives the impression that they are reporting on Islamic societies in universities in general when they are actually only concerned with extremist activity. So their report on segregation should really be something like ‘gender segregation enforced at a quarter of extremist Islamist events’ or something. Which doesn’t look so scary and so is less likely to be reported.

  2. Shatterface says

    One of its supporters, Hilary Aked, a doctoral student at the University of Bath, argued that the Student Rights report, Unequal Opportunity – Gender Segregation on UK University Campuses, had exaggerated the proportion of events that are segregated because it monitored only Islamic events where the speaker had a history of extreme views, or where gender segregation was explicitly promoted.

    Can’t understand why Student Rights specifically targeted speakers with a history of extremist views and groups where gender segregation were explicitly promoted when they could have been looking elsewhere for extremism and gender segregation.

    That sounds like a crazy way to expend limited resources when chess clubs and quiz teams could be getting away with all kinds of shit.

  3. says

    Minnow why do you do this? Why do you act as an interpreter when no one is looking for an interpreter? My point is that the way the article is written and the way Hilary Aked worded what she said are clumsy and confuse the issues. That’s what the post is about. It’s not about what Real Student Rights would say if it were better at saying things.

  4. Shatterface says

    By Real Student Right’s logic, reporting on the EDL is ‘targeting white people’.

  5. kbplayer says

    Hilary Aked’s piece here on HuffPo

    http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/hilary-aked/

    I want to reiterate that I’m not suggesting that everyone who has expressed concerns about gender segregation is Islamophobic.[Big of you] Nor should it be taken to imply that segregation is always a complete non-issue and Real Student Rights is not voicing a collective position on it given the complexity and nuance required. [How they love the word “nuance” – it’s Gopal’s favourite word as well.

    However, since one of the key actors driving the debate seems to have highly questionable motives and has used rather covert methods, I do think we need to readjust the lens with which we look at this issue. The evidence here suggests that there is an overlooked racial dimension to the way the current debate on gender is panning out in the public sphere, and that it may have been grossly sensationalised for dubious reasons.

    Hilary Aked is a mutli-culturalist, feminism means CHOICE, who am I to question someone’s autonomy, type.

    I think she genuinely believes she’s defending Muslim women against racist discrimination.

    She doesn’t seem to give a toss about the views of those who to come to address ISOCs – the whole misogynistic, keep away from the filthy kuffar, bag of tricks.

  6. Katherine Woo says

    exaggerated the proportion of events

    So they do not dispute the actual count, several dozen. Instead they dispute the “proportion.”

    So their implied position is that sex segregation is only unacceptable if it is above a certain “proportion” of events?!? UFB.

    Who thinks Real Student Rights would be babbling about “proportion” if even one event were race-segregated by white supremacists (scarily I can see leftists like that humoring such a request by non-whiteracial extremists)?

    Also I read somewhere in the course of this recent hoopla, that white nationalist rightwingers are already persona non grata on British campuses, so the claim the Muslim far right is being unfairly scrutinized is (surprise, surprise) misleading.

  7. kbplayer says

    I’m pretty sure that no white nationalist is allowed on campus. I think even someone from UKIP might have a hard time getting to speak to supporters there.

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