A protection racket

The LSE student paper reports on the cartoons and free speech and “Islamophobia” and shut-uppery affair. It has details.

On 20th January, members of ASH Society met with Stanley Ellerby-English, Students’ Union Activities and Development Officer, who explained “the situation, the complaints that had been made and how the action of posting these cartoons was in breach of the Students’ Union policy on inclusion and the society’s constitution.” The society agreed to certain outcomes, though these have not been disclosed yet; however, the Students’ Union will “now be telling the society that they cannot continue these actions under the brand of the SU.”

Chriss Moos, President of the LSE’s Students’ Union ASH Society, responded to the formal complaints that had been filed against the society, stating that the issue should not be framed as one pertaining to Islamophobia.

“We firmly reject the allegation that actions of our members have ‘sought to marginalise’ anyone, have caused ‘harm to the welfare of Muslim students’ or constituted a ‘targeted campaign,’” Moos said. “Although we reserve the right to criticise religious ideas, as humanists we will always oppose any targeted campaign against any community. We strongly oppose any form of anti-Muslim prejudice. The cartoons criticise religion in a satirical way. They do not target or call for the targeting of Muslims or any other religious group.  Framing the criticism of religion as ‘discrimination’ or ‘Islamophobic actions’ is highly misguided and results in the stifling of valid debates. We do not discriminate amongst religions in our criticisms.”

The Students’ Union sabbatical officers addressed the issue at the UGM held on 19th January and inestigating the claims. An Emergency General Meeting (EGM) is scheduled for Thursday 26 January at 1:00p with two separate motions, one on antisemitism and the other on Islamophobia, to be discussed.

Ah so the E was for Emergency? Or perhaps the reporter is making the same mistake I did.

“There will be two separate motions which will lay out what these types of discrimination incorporate and that the SU stands against them,” said Sherelle Davis, Anti-Rascism Officer. “The recent Anti-Semitic incident on the ski trip and the Islamophobic actions taken by certain campus groups have brought these issues to the forefront of race relations at the moment and it’s important the SU take a stance on it.”

The Students’ Union issued the following statement to further reiterate their stance on religious discrimination on campus: “the LSE community’s values of tolerance, diversity, and respect for all students regardless of race, ethnicity, gender, sexuality or religious affiliation are not in accordance with the offensive nature displayed in the recent cases of antisemitism and Islamophobia. We respect the need for freedom of expression and discussion, but believe there must be a balance between respecting freedom of speech and protecting the communities that make up the student body at the LSE.”

And by “protecting the communities” she means “protecting people we sort into certain groups (and not others) from hearing or reading or seeing anything that might imply that their groups’ ideas and beliefs might be wrong or illiberal or unfortunate in any way.” In other words by “protecting” she means “stultifying and insulating.”

It’s not just ASH and atheists and secularists who are harmed by this crap, you know. If anything the harm done to the people being “protected” is worse than the harm done to the people who already have access to thinking uninhibited by the proxies for god.


  1. says

    Islam, I’m afraid, started out as a protection racket, and it’s still playing that game. The price for protection used to be the jizya tax from infidels; it is now silence and respect. That’s too high a price to pay. The threats that are made are real, and should be accepted as real. Those who make them should be treated as terrorists, for it is terror they intend to instill in their opponents. Time for the LSE and other notionally liberal institutions to remember what liberalism is about, and it’s not about being kind to terrorists.

  2. says

    The strange thing is that the anti-semitic incident involved a Nazi drinking game, and the nose of a Jewish student was broken. The “Islamopobia” amounts to puttin up pictures of Mo. To mention them together as some equivalent is a travesty.

  3. evilDoug says

    a line from the linked article:
    “We must also be aware that speech can very quickly turn into violence if not used responsibly”

    To recycle a recent phrase “history has shown” that your speech leads to my violence (to be clear, I mean that the first person in this sentence is the same as the first person in the sentence above).

    Speech does have consequences. If it didn’t, it wouldn’t be worth protecting. If I advocate violence against others, I should almost certainly be held liable if such violence happens. If I ridicule others or their beliefs, or even if I say I hate them, then I may be regarded as a jerk and a lowlife and be shunned by them. Fine. If they do violence against me as a result, they are the criminals.
    Eric, can you post a link to info in the “antisemitic” incident?
    I see our friend Ken at Popehat has weighed in (and tips his mitre to a certain alleged barmaid).

  4. platyhelminthe says

    Has anyone done a scan of the LSE Muslim society’s literature (public or otherwise) to see if it contains any anti-woman, anti-Jew, or anti-homosexual bias? It would be rather interesting to know.

  5. Hamilton Jacobi says

    We do not discriminate amongst religions in our criticisms.

    Why not? They aren’t all the same. Why not target your criticism toward what each individual religion actually says?

  6. says

    I’ve heard from some of the swell ASH people at all three places now. They’re not backing down, that’s for sure!

    The Queen Mary peeps have lots of news. They’ll be able to share it after their next meeting next week.

  7. Carmichael says

    You beat me to it, Hamilton Jacobi. This is problem. Even though groups like ASH are standing up to the intimidation, they still have to make appeasing noises. A small concession is made. Next time, another one. Slowly, more ground is conceded.
    Imagine claiming “We do not discriminate against political ideologies in our criticisms.”

  8. Jeff says

    All of your points are sound and observations true. Any anger about this is justified but don’t forget that the shool officials involved are faced with essentially a mafia. They’re scared and rightfully so. Appeasement seems an obvious answer but of course it never works. The uncivil always want more territory. That is, yours.

  9. says

    Inescapably related to this is the lack of equality between the umma (Muslims, and favoured in the eyes of Allah) and the dhimmi (unbelievers and infidels, who are not so favoured.)

    “Islam has become a major religion in much of the world primarily through three avenues. First, a gradual process of religious conversion for material and spiritual reasons.[ref] Second, interfaith marriages, which require the children to be raised as Muslims. Third, and more recently, differing rates of population growth among the religious communities.”

    Someone please correct me if I am wrong, but if one is a non-Muslim living in a Muslim country under Sharia Law, the only way to avoid the social exclusion and disadvantage dhimmitude brings is to convert/submit to Islam. If one is in an interfaith marriage, for which Sharia requires that the children be raised as Muslims, there is also a prohibition on inheritance between Muslims and non-Muslims.

    I wonder how Islamic students would respond to some real discrimination: restrictions on their freedom to preach and convert similar to those which operate the other way under Sharia Law; requirement that in interfaith marriages, children be NOT raised as Muslims, and no right of bequest to said children?

    For some mysterious reason, Muslims seek education and domicile in the West, while remaining Muslim. Meanwhile, the non-Muslim populations of the countries of the Muslim world have steadily declined.

    It’s a riddle.


  10. dirigible says

    “I’ve heard from some of the swell ASH people at all three places now. They’re not backing down, that’s for sure!”

    That’s very heartening to hear.

  11. Jeff says

    The disparity in birth rates is no surprise. Less civilized populations, which usually engender extreme and invasive religious beliefs, tend to have high birth rates. More civil societies tend have less invasive and extreme religious convictions and lower birth rates. They tend to have a greater grasp of the consequences of population growth and limited resources.

  12. Taz says

    …the Islamophobic actions taken by certain campus groups…

    Is there any by-law at LSE about slandering your fellow students?

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