Trinity College Dublin: Behind the Arras

And so the whitewash begins with an “article” (or should we say editorial) by University Times on the cancellation of my talk at Trinity College Dublin (TCD) on “Apostasy and the Rise of Islamism”, which was meant to be given today at an event organised by the Society for International Affairs (SoFIA). Though the SoFIA chair asserts that I withdrew from the event, it is in fact the Society, which cancelled the event after my request that it go ahead as initially planned without any of the last-minute restrictions imposed, namely that all attendants of the event must be 1) Trinity students and 2) members of the society hosting the talk and that a moderator be added for “balance”.

The “article” is full of irrelevances and misinformation in order to muddy the waters so that the main issue at hand is forgotten as is usual in such cases. The main issue is that my right to speak was restricted by TCD whilst Islamist speakers like Kamal El Mekki who advocate the death penalty for apostates face no such restrictions. But more on this later.

Let me first briefly address the main points of misinformation raised in the article:

1. The article asserts that “miscommunication” around the event being public was all “hinged” on one “individual student’s involvement” who “never asked [SoFIA] [its] terms”.

It now seems that the student liaison facilitating my talk is the reason for this entire scandal! Acting on his own accord, and without coordinating with SoFIA, he alone is responsible for my misguided impression that the event was to be public. I am assured that SoFIA only holds members-only events! Even if there was a public Facebook page it was because of this “individual student”. The Society I am told cannot be held responsible for the “assumption as to conditions which it itself did not offer”.

This, however, is untrue. The screenshot below shows Aoife McLoughlin-Ngo, the SoFIA Chair, stating: “there are 2 events pages – the page I’m linking is open to people outside of SoFIA members page”. So much for the event “hinging” on an “individual student”! The fall guy scenario that was put into motion after the scandal became public knowledge is a bogus one. This now explains why the Facebook page for the event was so quickly deleted.

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The second point of misinformation is that Trinity College Dublin “had no involvement” in discussions with me about my scheduled appearance. This is a half-truth. Yes, they were not involved in discussions with ME but they were heavily involved in discussions around my talk before and after the scandal was made public. Noel McCann, the TCD Facilities Officer, told the student liaison that he was meeting with the “highest management of Trinity” to discuss whether the event will be “allowed” to go ahead as planned. Even now, the delay in the publication of SoFIA’s statement on the cancellation of my talk is because it had to be approved by the Central Societies Committee and Communications Office.

The third point of misinformation is that the issues raised by the Facilities Officer were around matters of “student security”.  I think it is clear that the last-minute requirement that an academic (Dr Andrew Pierce of the Irish School of Ecumenics in Trinity) “chair” my event has very little to do with security.

Rather, it had to do with the concern that I would cause “offence”.

The student liaising my visit was told by Noel McCann that my talk would show the college is “one-sided” and would be “antagonising” to “Muslim students”. He asked how “could she come and say whatever she wants without a moderator” and “with half the world knowing about it”. He also threatened to cancel it and said that he was meeting with “highest management of Trinity” to discuss whether the event would be “allowed” to go ahead. But according to the college:”these discussions [are] considered to be private and in response to the student’s own concerns”!

The crux of the matter, therefore, is “private” and the non-issues and misinformation have become the main points of discussion for the Society and TCD.

This is nothing new. Islamism, a far-Right political movement, is often seen to be one and the same with the falsely homogenised “Muslim community”, thereby implying that hate preachers like Mekki (promulgating the death penalty for apostates and stoning for adulterers) are “authentic” Muslims and those of us defending the rights of ex-Muslims and Muslims to question, criticise and leave Islam are the “antagonisers”. This can be very clearly seen in the article in question. The student liaising with me who is an ex-Muslim who does not want to be known for fear of his safety is portrayed as the extremist and trouble-maker as am I.

This is one of the main reasons that universities have become breeding and recruiting grounds for jihadis who have free reign whilst opponents like myself struggle to gain access and be heard. Universities like TCD have bought into the Islamist narrative that this movement represents “Muslims” and therefore it is antagonistic to “Muslim students” if one should challenge it. But what about all the “Muslim” dissenters? Conflating Muslim with Islamist does a disservice to them, denies any opposition exists and implies that the “authentic” Muslim is a fascist.

TCD should stop hiding behind its students, come clean and facilitate my talk there without restrictions and as soon as possible.

I insist on speaking at TCD.

I refuse to be silenced.

This is how you blast Islamists at your university

If you want to know how one should deal with the Islamists entering British Universities under every cover other than promotion of the Caliphate, watch Reza Moradi. This is the way to do it!

Here’s what Reza says: The University and College Union (@UCU) invited Mohammed Kozbar (Muslim Association of Britain Vice President) to speak at @Londonmentuni in a panel on immigration! Diane Abbott (Labour MP) and Sally Hunt (UCU General Secretary) sat very comfortably with the MAB representative,despite the MAB’s links with the Muslim Brotherhood, its defence of death by stoning for adultery and support for the death penalty for apostates such as me. MAB is what is known as a “soft” Islamist organisation, normalising and justifying terrorism, the Caliphate and Sharia rules.

I am outraged that my union would share a panel with, and promote, an Islamist organisation in this way. This is not standing with immigrants and refugees – many of whom have fled the brutality of Islamists in our own countries, including myself and of course many Muslims.

The Unions’s job is to address the many issues we face in our workplace and to help people work for a more just and humane society. They have no reason or excuse for allying with the religious-Right anywhere in this remit. This relationship is very shameful for my union and for all those who welcome groups like the MAB as friends onto panels like these. Islamism is our fascism and the union should stand against all forms of fascism without any exceptions.

Given this collusion and legitimisation of Islamism within this dominant strand of the postmodernist Left, it is unsurprising to see the Islamist influence at our universities. These so called left wing groups need to understand that the Muslim Association of Britain is not the representatives of Muslims or refugees and immigrants any more than the EDL or BNP are representatives of the British students in the university. It represents a political far-Right movement that should be opposed by academics and students alike. The University should not become a welcoming space for fascists of any stripes.

Here’s an article on Reza blasting the pro-stoning speaker.

And if you don’t know about the disgusting Muslim Association of Britain, read One Law for All’s report on them here.

After the Charlie Hebdo Massacre, Support those Fighting the Religious-Right

FRENCH: Après le massacre de Charlie Hebdo, Soutenons ceux qui se battent contre la droite religieuse

SPANISH: Below

1908487_10205228738736122_6331463129153098_nAfter the massacre in Charlie Hebdo in Paris on January 7, 2015, expressing indignation, as so many are doing, is not enough.

A quick look at the English-speaking media shows that whilst many condemn the violence itself, they also assert that Charlie Hebdo courted (and maybe deserved?) a strong response from “Muslims”. Charlie’s regular cartoonists did not spare Islam, any other religion, nor fanatics and bigots.

This trend in the media requires our attention. Apparently secularists, agnostics and atheists must keep silent and do not deserve the kind of respect that believers are entitled to; nor can they enjoy free speech to the same degree.

In the name of “respect” of religions and of the religious sentiments of believers, it is indeed the fanatical religious-Right that is being supported and given centre stage. Meanwhile, those who are on the forefront of countering armed fundamentalists are left to their own devices. It is high time to give these secularists prominence, to recognise their courage and their political clarity and to stop labelling them “Islamophobic”.

In October 2014, secularists – including atheists, agnostics and believers from many countries, in particular many Muslim-majority countries, met in London to denounce the religious-Right and to demand being seen as its alternative. It is high time to learn from their analysis and lived experiences.

The tragic massacre in Paris will undoubtedly give fuel to the traditional xenophobic far-Right and the immediate danger is an increase in racism, marginalization and exclusion of people of Muslim descent in Europe and further.  We do not want to witness “anti-Muslim witch hunts” nor do we welcome the promotion of “moderate” Islamists by governments as official political partners. What is needed is a straightforward analysis of the political nature of armed Islamists: they are an extreme-Right political force, working under the guise of religion and they aim at political power. They should be combated by political means and mass mobilisation, not by giving extra privileges to any religion.

Their persistent demand for the extension of blasphemy laws around the world is a real danger for all. France has a long – and now growingly endangered – tradition of secularism; which allows dissent from religions and the right to express this dissent. It has had a rich tradition to mock and caricature powers that be – religious or otherwise. Let us keep this hard won right which cost so many lives in history, and, alas, still does – as Charlie Hebdo’s twelve dead and numerous wounded demonstrate.

Signed:
Marieme Helie Lucas, Algerian Sociologist and Secularism is a Women’s Issue Founder
Maryam Namazie, Iranian-born Spokesperson of Council of Ex-Muslims of Britain, One Law for All and Fitnah and Co-host of Bread and Roses TV
Karima Bennoune, Professor and Martin Luther King Jr. Hall Research Scholar, University of California, Davis School of Law [Read more…]

United against ISIS and for Kobane

Here’s my speech at the 1 November Global day of Action for Kobane:

I was disgusted to see Social Workers’ Party and Stop the War Coalition speaking at the protest when they have been the stalwart defenders of the “ISIS” of Iran and other countries.

If you don’t know about their collaboration with the Islamists, see our report here.

Theirs is a politics of siding with the oppressors at the expense of progressive social movements and class politics and most importantly real live human beings.

As I mentioned in my speech, you can be opposed to both US-led militarism and Islamism – something they are clueless about because they have an affinity with the Islamists. How dare they show up and give lip service against ISIS when they have fully supported so many ISIS’ across the world?

BTW, Fariborz Pooya’s speech at the 1 November Global day of Action for Kobane can be seen below too:


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(Thanks to Patty Debonitas for the video clips.)

Just some more Islamist threats – but it won’t stop us

It seems be an Islamist, you must not only have a thing for murder but you have to be downright stupid as well.

Here’s an email circulated amongst the “brothers” on 10 October Friday before the 11-12 October conference on the Religious-Right, Secularism and Civil Rights in London trying to mobilise their herds to stop our event by frightening the hotel where our event was taking place. The threats the hotel received were so serious that the police became involved and more stringent security measures were put in place.

Assalamalykum

Please do not ignore this message.

This weekend the council of ex muslims led by maryam namazi are holding a conference at the tower Guoman hotel. This event is full of hate preachers who’s intention is only to provoke Muslims and offend.

We need to make a stand against this event. We need you all to message and call the hotel today and demand that they do not allow the event to go ahead. Or at least ban Maryam namazi to be at the event…

A bit about Maryam Namazi

She has led a crusade against Muslims and islam and got many islamic events banned in the UK. She did a protest against the hijaab and by stripping nude in public and using the Iranians flag to cover her self. She cut out the part where it says Allah and put her private part there and then says this is better.

Make a stand for your Deen by getting her banned. Email and call the hotel now. And forward this message.
beconvinced.com

It is absurd when those preaching hate and defending murder call those resisting them “hate preachers”.

On Saturday, a few Islamists tried to get into the conference and were stopped by security. One of them even said he was a friend. Err, I don’t have any fascist friends, sorry.

One also texted me at the conference telling me he was waiting for me in reception: Ameenur Rasheed (07939 847723). One waited all day long right in front of the entrance maybe because he thought we would be intimidated?

Err, I don’t think so.

Also, both the websites of the Council of Ex-Muslims of Britain and One Law for All were down for several days due to sustained attacks.

Even so, our conference went ahead and 250 delegates from all over, particularly from the Middle East, North Africa, South Asia and the Diapora, exposed Islamism and the religious-Right and defended secularism and citizenship rights.

The conference culminated in a Manifesto for Secularism – supported by believers and none – as an important step in creating an international front to challenge the fascists of our era.

Hope and humanity in the face of the religious-Right…

Islamists – you fail again!

 

Malala’s Lessons

The shooting of the wonderfully brave Malala Yousefzai by the Pakistani Taliban has brought to the fore many of the issues that I have been banging on about for a long time.

Not all Muslims (or those labelled as Muslims) support Islamism and the likes of the Taliban.

Many of them are its first victims and at the frontlines of resistance.

And because of who Malala is and what she represents, this ever-present resistance and dissent is pushing its way into mainstream consciousness and demanding to be seen and heard.

The far-Right keeps asking where the ‘Muslim’ voices of dissent are (and this question has become the question of the day within many circles). Of course, they ask this not because they care but because it implies that Muslims are one and the same with the vile Islamists so that the far-Right can justify its racist, anti-immigrant and anti-Muslim agenda.

Well, here they are…

On another related matter, what I find most ironic in all this is how the Taliban’s propaganda is so close to the nice, lovely, liberals and post-modernist and relativist Left who keep calling for tolerance and respect of the intolerable (as if the Islamist perspective is that of all Muslims).

I personally have lost count of the amount of times I have heard these lovely people tell me that the demand for universal rights is a demand for – shall we just put it in the Taliban’s words as they are one and the same – ‘western culture’ …

Like the far-Right, this lot sees Islamists and Muslims as one and the same but from another ‘progressive’ angle. Defending Sharia law, the Islamic regime of Iran’s right to nuclear technology, the veil, and every other bit of misogyny and barbarity is to them an act of anti-imperialism because they see Islamism as a force of resistance against US-led militarism (when it is in fact the other side of the same coin) and a defence of Muslims from bigotry. I suppose, to justify their inhuman position, they have no choice but to see Islamism as the representative of every single ‘Muslim’ no matter how many bodies pile up in prisons, in city centres, and alleyways across the Middle East, North Africa and right here in Europe.

How shameful. How very sorry I feel for this lot and how angry. Because in this colossal fight against the beast of Islamism, they knowingly or inadvertently have decided to side with the beast and not the likes of Malala.

Hopefully, this can be a turning point for them, though I won’t be holding my breath.

With or without them, the likes of Malala will bring – is bringing – Islamism to its knees.

The fact that the Taliban has to shoot a 14 year old girl who merely wants the right for girls to go to school shows how afraid they are of her and the dissent she represents and how very potent and effective this resistance is. Not bombs, not regime change from above, not economic sanctions but people power and sheer human will and defiance.

In the meanwhile, our young hero, Malala, has been able to walk with help, and has managed to converse in writing, even asking for her supporters to be thanked.

Islamists – and your cowardly apologists – be afraid, be very afraid…