The UCLU Atheist, Secularist & Humanist Society (ASH) President has just published a statement on their Facebook page on the Jesus and Mo image censorship attempt by the UCL Union saying: ‘We can now tell you that the University College London Union has recognized that mistakes were made and that the initial correspondence with our society was flawed. The Union is to review its stance on such matters and has said that this will not happen again. They can no longer call on us to withdraw the image. We welcome these developments, which set an important precedent for other universities.’
Good news indeed.
However, ‘the Union has considered the possibility that posting the image might have constituted an act of bullying, prejudice, harassment or discrimination.’
Really? How so?
Clearly, the Union fails to make a distinction between human beings and beliefs. As a result, concepts such as bullying, prejudice, harassment or discrimination, which are meant to be raised vis-à-vis human beings, are being applied to religion. No individual was bullied, harassed, or discriminated against by the publishing of an image of Jesus and Mo. The distinction between humans and their beliefs is of crucial significance here. The blurring of this distinction is the result of years of efforts by Islamists in order to silence criticism of Islam and Islamism. And the Union seems to have bought into it.
The President’s statement goes on to say that the UCLU ASH ‘firmly believe in the protection of our fellow students through University and Union policy; however we cannot accept such a suggestion. They have also considered the force of our actions and unwillingness to concede. As such, the society may be risking a disciplinary hearing which could lead to the forced resignation of committee members, or disaffiliation from the Union. In light of our now constructive relationship with the Union, such an event seems unlikely, though we would ask for your support should it ever occur.’
And so the fight continues…
As an aside, I do wish I was a member of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Students Association (well, not really) just so that I could receive some sort of response from the UCL ASH on their report on the Sharia debate in December.