From a couple of weeks ago there is this Huffington Post article by Hilary Aked, finding deep sinisterness in the opposition to gender segregation at university events.
She starts by saying the furore was “sparked by” the Student Rights report. But that’s not clear at all – the report played a part, but far from the only part.
After that, there’s a lot of hand-wringing about the Henry Jackson Society, without anything really showing what difference it makes. She does at least admit as much, which is a nice change from Gopal and Penny, but she adds,
However, it is vital to situate the origin of such a controversy and origins like this should, I think, lead us to pause and consider whether the narrow framing of this issue is problematic. Is the current discussion, provoked by Student Rights’ report, more about feminism or Islamophobia?
It depends on which people and organizations you’re talking about, surely. The existence of the HJS doesn’t do much to change that fact.
Several commentators believe it is largely about the latter, and so do many students. Apart from being busy fighting to keep their campuses cop-free, a growing number are also giving their support to a campaign called ‘Real Student Rights‘ (RSR), founded to expose and oppose ‘Student Rights’ (far more, I should add, than the turned out for the demo outside Universities UK, which despite what some media reports suggest, was very small and not attended by many actual students - though it was able to compensate for this thanks to a handful of vocal journalists).
“A growing number” – well that could mean it was two yesterday and today it’s three.
There’s a lot more in the same vein, with lots of pointing and suspecting but very little real substance. I think Aked could do a lot more to undermine prejudice against Muslims by marginalizing far-right Islamist groups rather than by trying to marginalize people who resist them.