LSE Student Union supports criticism of religion – just not Islam

One way that people in Iran survive under the Islamic Republic of Iran is by making fun of its leaders and the clergy. Mockery can be a form of resistance too. Such jokes can be considered blasphemous, particularly since the regime’s leaders represent god’s rule on earth. Free expression, including mockery, though, is sometimes all that people have at their disposal to refuse and resist.

But please don’t mention it to the LSE Student Union as they will soon be issuing resolutions against the people of Iran… They will do anything to defend Islam and Islamism, and I do mean anything. They have just issued a resolution on Islamophobia most likely in order to try and silence and censor the LSE Atheist Secularist and Humanist Society for posting a Jesus and Mo cartoon on their Facebook page.

Of course the resolution states very clearly that the LSE Student Union supports free expression and criticism of religion – but only if the religion is not Islam…

(Link via Mike Tobin)


    • says

      We have to see what the LSE atheist group wants to do first. But I personally think we should fight the SU to the end. I have written to the group to say we are behind them all the way and that this is a fight that is important for universities across Britain and society at large.

      • Marshall says

        I sincerely hope that they fight it all the way. If people continue to allow pressure of this sort to silence them, all that does is send a signal that these tactics are working.

  1. Acleron says

    This is terrible news. I still can’t get my head around of a university ffs passing anything like this.

    Perhaps before expensive legal action takes place, some way of getting this into the main media should be explored.

  2. Canadian Atheist says

    So how does this affect the group with the picture? Since the policy clearly states debate about religion is allowed, but frowns on singling Islam out it can be pointed out that the picture is of Jesus and Mo. Two different religious figures representing two religions, no singling out at all.

    And when did Islam become a Race? Discrimnatory attitudes towards a non racial group bould be bigorty not racism correct? There are Christians in the Middle East, and Christians of Arab heritage, so how does Race figure into all this?

    The Union Notes are nice statistics but no connection to the Facebook posting is shown. And for balance there could be a list of staements made by Anjem Choudry to show the extremist Muslim side.

    The Union Beliefs #1-3 are fine, well and good, Criticism, free speech and thought, excellent. #4 is where it comes off the rails. The first section is good, debate can be offensive to a person and still be allowed, but the deliberate targeting of one religion with the intent or effect of being Islamaphobic.

    OK, who gets to decide what the intent is? And when? If there is a debate about Islamic issues in the UK, Sharia law courts and their effect on society in general, or women, or whatever, then there will be a lot of examples of negative effects. That is what is used to score points in a debate. Can the debate be stopped if one side says it is hateful? Who is the judge on this?

    #5: This is my is Islam a race or a creed? Define racism for another religion: People who hate Protestants are against White Anglo Saxons? What if they are Catholic?

    The Definition opf Islamophobia: If I think that a Sharia based culture would impact where I live and argue that it curtails the freedoms I currently enjoy, and campaign against the limitation of those freedoms, where is the hatred?

    Is it racist to campaign against the political manifestation of a religion (implemantation of Sharia system) in a non-Muslim society? This is where the political and the religious get blended in the case of Islam, because Islam has an overt political and judicial system as part of the religion. Catholics and Protestants use the current system as is and are fine with it, but Islam would change that system. So I think the definition needs some clarification.

    And if the Atheist society takes each religion in turn and skewers all of them equally can the school complain?

    • miketobin says

      If you have a listen to the union debate on the motion (, there are many good points raised and questions asked. However there is also a direct assertion by one of those speaking for the motion that “A cartoon of Muhammad is Islamaphobic”.

      There is also some rhetoric along the lines of “Islamaphobia is racism and we all hate racism right?”, conflating the two allows them to present a position that most people would just agree with, without understanding the full issue at debate.

      I urge any LSE students to vote against the motion.

      • Sigmund says

        The way the proposal was presented was that the anti-islamophobia motion was described as exactly analogous to the motion to combat anti-semitism. The trouble, of course, is that even the proposers of the motion seem to conflate actual racist violence with almost any sort of vigorous criticism of Islam.
        Is it anti-semitic to draw cartoons of biblical prophets?
        I don’t think so – think of how many cartoons there are of themes like Adam and Eve, Noahs ark or jokes about Moses and the ten commandments. If you accuse someone of being racist for drawing such a cartoon then they would, rightly, regard you as being loopy.
        If you listen to the debate you will notice several important points.
        1. “Muslim” is described as an ethnicity.
        2. Portraying Muhammad in pictorial form is described as being islamophobic.
        3. Ridicule of religious beliefs held by an oppressed minority was described as Islamophobic.
        4. Strong criticism of religious beliefs (the example given was to describe a particular religious teaching as being “monstrous”) was described as Islamophobic and
        5. Islamophobia is defined as a type of racism.
        All these points were made by the proposer of the motion – who wasn’t a muslim.
        It was obvious that those proposing and supporting the motion had either never seen ‘Jesus and Mo’ or were willfully distorting it for political effect. One speaker compared it to printing cartoons praising hitler and calling for the killing of all Jews!
        A very funny and ironic point was made by one questioner who asked how the motion would be formally put into effect by the LSE union. He gave an example of him, as a gay man, who was walking down the street holding hands with his boyfriend. What if this incites a compaint of Islamophobia since homosexuality is also offensive to Islam?
        The proposer (remember, she is the one who made points 1 to 5 above) said that it is obvious that homosexuality should not be seen as offensive, of if it is offensive to them then tough, so the complainer would be told to get over themself and stop wasting peoples time (or words to that effect.)
        It completely flew over her head that this is exactly the response you should give to complaints about cartoons of Muhammad.

        • Steven Carr says

          Exactly correct.

          If an activity X is forbidden by Islam, there is nothing which compels non-Muslims to follow Islamic law.

          It appears that Muslims find it very , very offensive that non-believers do not follow Islamic law and do things which are forbidden for Muslims to do.

        • Steven Carr says

          ‘“a form of racism expressed through the hatred or fear of Islam,
          Muslims, or Islamic culture, and the stereotyping, demonisation or harassment of Muslims, including but not limited to portraying Muslims as barbarians or terrorists, or attacking the
          Qur’an as a manual of hatred”’

          Depicting Muhammad having a chat with a friend falls into which category of portraying Muslims – as barbarians or as terrorists?

  3. says

    “‘ašhadu ‘al-lā ilāha illā-llāhu wa ‘ašhadu ‘anna muħammadan rasūlu-llāh”

    There, I’ve converted. I’ve always wanted to be part of an oppressed racial minority. Now, thanks to the LSE, it’s as easy as becoming a muslim! Now I can impose my worldview on others free from reprobation or consequences for threats of violence!

    Nobody’s going to mind if I commit apostasy later this evening are they?

  4. Aref says

    A truly vile religion.
    Can I coin Athiephobic? Or maybe Skeptophobic?
    Then, when anybody claims there is a god, we can all scream skeptophobia! It seems to be working for Muslims.

  5. bruce says

    The LSE ASH Society should put up signs that pretend ironically to support the LSESU position. They should read something such as: we support the LSESU ban on all views on religion that conflict with that of the Established Church of England. Islam and Catholicism, for example, inherently imply that the Queen’s view on religion is wrong, wrong, wrong. So for the good of the peace of the community, we must hear no more about any such views or religions. Our thanks to the LSESU for such an enlightened and clarifying policy. The LSESU will lead the UK back to the era of no conflict on religion that the UK had in the seventeenth century. What could go wrong?


Leave a Reply