UCL on iERA event

From UCL News.

An organisation known as the Islamic Education and Research Academy (IERA) booked a room at UCL for a debate on Saturday evening (9 March). UCL was notified during Friday by some individuals planning to attend the event that the organisers intended to segregate the audience by gender.

This was directly contrary to UCL policy. We do not allow enforced segregation on any grounds at meetings held on campus. We immediately made clear to the organisers that the event would be cancelled if there were any attempt to enforce such segregation. We also required the organisers to make it explicit to attendees that seating arrangements were optional, and guests were welcome to sit wherever they felt comfortable. We also arranged for additional security staff to be present to ensure that people were not seated against their wishes.

It now appears that, despite our clear instructions, attempts were made to enforce segregation at the meeting. We are still investigating what actually happened at the meeting but, given IERA’s original intentions for a segregated audience we have concluded that their interests are contrary to UCL’s ethos and that we should not allow any further events involving them to take place on UCL premises.


  1. Sakinah says

    I think the hype that has been created about the segregation at the Islam or Atheism debate is just a tactic to take the spotlight off the fact that Professor Krauss came extremely unprepared and didn’t actually know much about Islam apart from a few outdated insults that we can easily copy from any edl website. As an academic, we expected more from him. If he knew that he was going to debate about Islam, you would think that he would have at least read some books about it. The women asked for a couple of rows at the back so they could sit separately from men and feel more comfortable, which the organisers kindly agreed to, with the permission from the University. The attendees then had the other 10+ rows to choose from. For the man to cause such commotion and challenge this in the way that he did in the name of ‘equal opportunities’ is just ridiculous.

  2. says

    “Sakinah” – you’re a fake and a spammer. You’ve already posted that comment here, and at Maryam’s, and at Mick Hartley’s, and on other blogs. Plus you’re not “Sakinah.”

    Other than that, brilliant work.

  3. rnilsson says

    Sakinah — wait a minit. Isn’t that a kind of false coin, a forgery, a shining little trinket-on-sewed?

    No, that would be the gigantic tree that Atlas (or Homer) Simpson extirpated from the desert.

    Hm. Still brooding. Not a glimpse of glammer.

  4. A Muslim female says

    Liberalism is when a white male like Krauss can compare a muslim woman’s dress to ‘bin bags’ yet feigns audacity when said woman chooses to sit with other females. Also fascinating how Dawkins compares the event to Rosa Parks and the bus boycott. An entire race was historically oppressed, enslaved, lynched, marginalised by the law, and yet this is compared to a conscious decision by adults? Yet again displays how elite white males are unable to understand the dynamics of minorities and feel free to impose their own views. Contrary to popular belief, muslim woman are not mindless sheep. We’re more than capable to think for ourselves, and it’d be nice if alleged liberals made more of an effort to speak to us rather than on our behalf, or even worse, make assumptions about our life choices. Then again, that’s probably just my ‘internalised misogyny’ speaking, eh.

  5. says

    Bullshit. This wasn’t an independent decision of the women at the event, it was decided in advance by the male organizers. There were separate entrances.

    And this is the internet; we don’t know that you even are a woman, and I for one strongly doubt that you are.

    What about women who didn’t make a “conscious decision” to sit separately in the back? They weren’t free to refuse to be segregated.

    You’re blowing smoke.

  6. Goodbye Enemy Janine says

    It would be one think if the muslim women segregated themselves. But they did not. That was decided by the men who organized the event.

  7. A Muslim female says

    Feel free to assume that I am not a muslim woman, I’ll refrain from assuming that you are another white male with a saviour complex. I’ll also refrain from assuming that your doubt about my sex doesn’t stem from the novel stereotype that practicing muslim women are uneducated, mindless minions, unable to think for themselves. I do wonder though , would I have faced the same suspicion if I had left a comment saying that I was a muslim female that felt oppressed by islam?

    I can see that neither of you were at the event otherwise you would know that women really did sit wherever they wished, and were not forced to sit in a womens’ only area. Perhaps what is needed is some research beyond the claims of Dawkins and co who have a very clear agenda.

    Again, please do speak to some real muslim women, and I mean outside of the internet and this narrow clique. I guarantee there are plenty of women out there who share my sentiments and are equally capable of stringing together a few sentences in English. Until then, there’s really no other way to prove that I am just ‘blowing smoke’.

  8. says

    Don’t be silly, “A Muslim female” – you don’t have to assume anything about me. I’m not signing myself “An atheist female” to comment on someone’s blog. I’m using my real name and you can easily confirm that I am who I say I am.

    If I suspect that you’re not “A Muslim female” at all it’s not because I think “practicing muslim women are uneducated, mindless minions” – it’s because I think Islamists don’t allow many women to work with them and because they have a motivation to pretend lots of women are “choosing” to go along with their horrible project. I think you’re probably an Islamist male pretending to be a woman here because that serves your interest.

  9. noxiousnan says

    A Muslim Female, let me speak directly to you about this:

    An entire race was historically oppressed, enslaved, lynched, marginalised by the law, and yet this is compared to a conscious decision by adults?

    That remains to be seen; I’ve heard there is a video that will be posted. But considering you pin this on Krauss and Dawkins and ignore the UCL representatives who said the same thing, I’m dubious about your conclusions.

    Yet again displays how elite white males are unable to understand the dynamics of minorities and feel free to impose their own views.

    I think the only imposing going on is from the males at IERA. It appears as though UCL was perfectly okay with self-segregation, and that it was not self-segregation. Like I said, it remains to be seen, but I find Krauss’ position more believable with the evidence at hand.

    We’re more than capable to think for ourselves, and it’d be nice if alleged liberals made more of an effort to speak to us rather than on our behalf, or even worse, make assumptions about our life choices.

    What makes you think they were speaking on your behalf? What makes you think this was about your cultural choices? Do you think only Muslims were in attendance or should have been allowed to be? To me, this is very much about Western values, Western culture and Me. Because you see, I see religious authorities everywhere trying to enforce their culture and religious rules on me, an atheist. Krauss, Dawkins, Harris and the UCL are speaking on my behalf, and on the behalf of a free and diverse state, and I’m very grateful for it.

  10. noxiousnan says

    For that matter, Female Muslim, do you think Muslim women should be free to say no to “a Muslim woman’s dress” or to self segregation if she so desires? If you do I’m afraid you have more in common with those male atheists than you may think. If you don’t then you have to understand that this is all taking place in a country where adult individuals, not their religious leaders, get to make their own choices.

  11. A Muslim female says

    The white saviour complex still applies, just of the feminist variety.

    Your comment is filled with so many baseless assumptions that I find it hard to believe that you’ve had anything more than minimal interaction with muslim women. We’re not such passive creatures that we readily allow those nasty islamist men to simply exclude our voices.

    Feel to brush off my comments and the comments of other like minded muslim women on here, but please do not take it upon yourself to speak on behalf of muslim women in some attempt at female solidarity when you clearly have no idea about our experiences. Like I said, try speaking to some real muslim women.

  12. Goodbye Enemy Janine says

    I suppose that the muslim woman does not mind having to enter through an entrance determined by muslim men, sit in the back and ask questions via written notes.

  13. NoxiousNana says

    So you respond to my perceived ignorance by dismissing instead if educating me?

    Why wouldn’t i brush off a comment that tells me I know nothing but tells me nothing either. Wouldn’t you? What about answering my questions or if the questions themselves are framed ignorantly wouldn’t that be a teaching opportunity?

    And what’s up with this white saviour accusation? I am white, lucky guess there. But I thought I’d made it clear I have no interest in “saving” women who don’t need or want saving, and that I am in fact much more interested in saving me.

    I also think you’re projecting on the assumption accusation. I didn’t speak of nasty Islamist men, I was very specific they were the men at the IERA, who are Islamic, but who are not all Islamic men. Perhaps it would have been more clear to you if I had added that the IERA was the group that was told not to segregate but did it anyway?

    All of this reinforces for me that educating the ignorant isn’t what you’re about at all.

  14. says

    There were non-muslim women who attended and were forced to sit at the back. Some of them have written about it. “A Muslim Female” (AMF) is working on oppressing people who are not voluntarily self segregating. You AMF have nasty, prejudiced and intolerant ideas.

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