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Oct 31 2012

They’ll have to pry this pineapple from their cold, dead hands

In England, the Reading University Atheist, Humanist and Secularist Society (RAHS) was kicked out of a fair aimed at first-year students when they tried to advertise a forthcoming debate on the topic “Should we respect religion?” Their offense? As part of their display, they had in their stall a pineapple with the label Mohammed.

Towards the afternoon, the group was informed they had to leave the fair by a member of Reading University Student Union (RUSU) staff. The reason given was several complaints had made against the offending pineapple, although RAHS members insist they were not made aware of any such protestations.

The society refused to remove the fruit due to their “commitment to freedom of expression”, to which they were told by the RUSU member: “Either the pineapple goes, or you do.”

A struggle ensued, wherein the pineapple was seized, but shortly returned to the owners, where it was re-christened Jesus.

According to the RAHS, a small group of students then gathered around the table and forcefully removed the pineapple’s name tag. The society was then “forced to leave the venue”, accompanied by security staff.

As the RAHS spokesperson said, “We wanted to celebrate the fact that we live in a country in which free speech is protected, and where it is lawful to call a pineapple by whatever name one chooses.”

Rightly so. What kind of country is one where people cannot give their own beloved pineapples the name of their choice?

Of course, we all know that in the wrong hands any fruit can be a dangerous weapon. So here’s a video on how to defend yourself in such an event.

7 comments

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  1. 1
    Ophelia Benson

    The student union investigated the matter and sent the ASH its finding last week.

    After investigation, we have come to the conclusion that the Reading University Atheist, Humanist and Secularist Society acted in breach of the behavioural policy. It states; “Behaviour should be appropriate, RUSU member’s behaviour should be lawful and not cause offence to the local community or other RUSU members nor bring the reputation of the Union or University into disrepute”. I have attached the Reading University Atheist, Humanist and Secularist Society’s signed copy of the behavioural policy.

    Whether it was the Reading University Atheist, Humanist and Secularist Society’s intention to cause offence has not been a consideration in the investigation. However, during our investigation, it became apparent that the Reading University Atheist, Humanist and Secularist Society committee members became aware of offence being caused at some point during the afternoon of the 3rd October, yet took the decision to continue to display the item in question.

    Our decision is that the Reading University Atheist, Humanist and Secularist Society should be referred to a disciplinary panel.

    You will be contacted by (RUSU staff member) or (another sabbatical officer) with further details about the process and who will be invited to attend. Their email addresses are -. Please find attached a copy of the disciplinary procedures.

    This is the end of the involvement for myself and (another RUSU staff member)

    Thank you for your co-operation during the investigation.

    Yours sincerely

    (sabbatical officer)”

    Names and emails removed at request of (sabbatical officer). The disciplinary procedure can be found at the link below.

  2. 2
    Ophelia Benson

    More here -

    http://blasphemouspineapple.com/

  3. 3
    Aliasalpha

    That really is a fantastic name for a website

  4. 4
    Randomfactor

    “Either the pineapple goes, or you do.”

    So they went, so presumably the pineapple got to stay?

  5. 5
    newfie

    Maybe they should have taken the Python angle.

    “What ‘ave ya got there then? A pineapple mocking the prophet of Islam?”

    “No it isn’t.. we’re mocking the pineapple.”

    “Right then. Carry on.”

  6. 6
    Jared A

    Of course, this decision fails the reductio ad absurdum test because the action itself causes other members of the union offense and brings the union and/or university into disrepute.

  7. 7
    Marcus Ranum

    “It isn’t us that’s mocking the prophet! It’s the pineapple that’s mocking the prophet! Talk to the pineapple; we’re just bystanders!”

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