Fons et origo

I think I know where Pryiamvada Gopal got her distorted and ignorant idea of the people behind the protest against gender segregation. I think she read a repellent article at “Loonwatch” on the website “Islamophobia Today” titled UK: Islamophobes Manufacture “Gender Segregation” Controversy. It’s wrong in just the way her article is wrong, and it does it a few days earlier.

The author is billed as “Ilisha.”

An Islamic society wants to host a university event where–gasp!–men and women are seated separately. Suddenly this minor event is major news in the UK.

Yes, “gasp,” Ilisha. It’s not just routine and normal for university events to seat women and men separately.

People who apparently never planned to attend the event in the first place have decided they must publicly protest “gender apartheid,” an intolerable affront to their sensibilities. There is no evidence men and women who planned to attend the event complained, yet the controversy has become the subject of a national debate of such importance, Prime Minister David Cameron has weighed in on the matter.

What a charming tone – as if people ought not to consider gender apartheid an intolerable affront to their sensibilities – as if institutional inequality should just be accepted, or even embraced.

The event gained the national spotlight through the efforts of Student Rights, a group affiliated with the Henry Jackson Society. In other words, the “controversy” has its roots in the incestuous Islamphobia network operating on both sides of the Atlantic.

Emphasis hers.

See there? The same ignorant mistake Gopal made: thinking Student Rights was behind the protest, when it had nothing to do with it.

She goes on to give an irrelevant denunciation of the Henry Jackson Society and a bunch of other societies that had nothing to do with the protest, then triumphantly winds up:

The “gender segregation” campaign in the UK is reminiscent of the manufactured “Ground Zero mosque” controversy a few years back in the US. Once again, a minor (non-)event has been transformed into a national debate by the usual suspects. The purpose is to generate another round of anti-Muslim hysteria.

As Associate Director at the Henry Jackson Society, Douglas Murray, has openly stated“Conditions for Muslims in Europe must be made harder across the board.”

Emphasis again hers. Several paragraphs, none of them relevant to the December 10 protest.

Not the most reliable or careful source I’ve ever seen.



  1. says

    That’s interesting because the photograph in the article is, of course, of the Tavistock Square protest on 10th December. There were a number of poeple there taking photographs and they must all have known who was organising it and why. How else would they have found it in the first place? Besides it was abundantly clear from who was speaking that it had nothing to do with the Henry Jackson Society, whatever that might be (I had never heard of it before I read Gopal’s article.) It would also have been clear that it had nothing to do with a particular meeting of an Islamic society but about the UUK guidelines.

    Since the photograph has no attribution, I can only assume it was taken by someone connected with Islomophobia Today. If not, surely it would have been possible to find out from the supplier of the photograph what is was a photograph of.

    This smells of deliberate mischief making to me.

  2. says

    I don’t know where Primadonna Gopal got her ideas from but her article was in line with everything else I’ve read of hers – take the liberal view on something, whether it’s gender segregation or fatwas against Salman Rushdie (with “of course this is wrong”) and then distance herself from anyone who is doing anything concrete against these evils by saying they are part of neo-imperialism or Western supremacism or some such garbage. To do her justice, she’s not as crude as Loonwatch – who are a soft Islamist site. (I assume Gopal is Hindu).. She wraps up her repellent thoughts in a sort of Saidian speak.

    I wonder if she will reply to Rupert What’s it from Student Watch?

    Oh, and if you try and debate with Loonwatch you’re on a hiding to nothing. And if Gopal has been getting information from them, she should have learned not to. You may as well get information about Obama from a Tea Party site.

  3. A. Noyd says

    Bernard Hurley (#1)

    Since the photograph has no attribution, I can only assume it was taken by someone connected with Islomophobia Today. If not, surely it would have been possible to find out from the supplier of the photograph what is was a photograph of.

    I wonder what sharia law has to say about theft on the internet where nobody can witness you stealing in the moment but everyone can see that you did it. Because that photo appeared a day earlier on the London Student news site, with attribution to a James Burley. Note that the article does not mention Student Rights.

  4. says

    That is even more interesting because it has been cropped to cut out the banner that reads “Shame on UUK.” Whoever Ilisha is, he/she can’t claim not to know what was really going on.

  5. sc_770d159609e0f8deaa72849e3731a29d says

    See there? The same ignorant mistake Gopal made: thinking Student Rights was behind the protest, when it had nothing to do with it.

    Surely the important thing is not who is behind the protest- or in front of it- whether the protest is justified. For a long time supporters of apartheid argued that communists were behind protests against apartheid and so people who weren’t communists shouldn’t protest against apartheid.
    The ultimate argument for segregation in such meetings came from someone who explained that the meeting both was and wasn’t segregated. They explained that there were three areas: male only, female only and unsegregated.

  6. RJW says


    “Surely the important thing is not who is behind the protest-”

    Yes, certainly if we’re discussing the issue in good faith, however Gopal and the clique at “Loonwatch” are Islamic propagandists campaigning to ‘normalise’ repugnant Moslem practices by using ‘anti-racism’ and ‘religious freedom’ as camouflage, so naturally they resort to ad hominem attacks. It’s all part of the sinister International Conspiracy of Islamophobes, and Moslems are always the victims, there seems to be an endless supply of useful idiots who, for unfathomable motives, fall for the scam.

  7. says

    One small point to be made here… @No. 2

    I understand my culture’s names sound like amusing puns but the pun on the name is rather tasteless

    Our names are chosen in the hope that we gain the properties of our name. So while you may think the Primadonna joke is pretty amusing, the reality is that you just mutilated her name for a joke. To do so is a major insult.

    It’s part of the reason why so many Asians anglicise our names. It’s why I go around being called Amy rather than by my real name.

    Her argument is faulty. Tha’ts really it.

  8. miraxpath says

    I visited that loonwatch site about a week ago. It was disgraceful and the Lisha character is completely toxic – called Maryam Namazie a person ”worse than a whore” when a commenter said that Maryam was a whore.Lots of slut shaming about the nude calendar Maryam posed in. Went on about rabid feminism in the way typical misogynists do. At Loonwatch, it is clear that the asylum has been taken over by the crazies.

  9. miraxpath says

    I take the point about making fun of ethnic names in a racist fashion, Avicenna, but I feel that is not what Rosiebell was doing and calling Priyamvada a primadonna – given the reasons Rosie gave – is perfectly fine. Btw, I am a brown woman with a very unusual Tamil name that has been made fun of since day one in Tamil class, by other Tamil people. Non Tamils simply mispronounce my name but it is up to me to correct that and I do. Bad puns on my name come from fellow tamils only- am I supposed to feel aggrieved by that? As a minor point, there are also indian names that have no meanings whatever and nothing much to live up to.

    If it had been a Petronella G whom Rosiebell had subverted to Primadonna G, would you have gone on about mutilations and major insults?

  10. medivh says

    Miraxpath: I would have commented, and am commenting, that altering a woman’s name to “primadonna” sound a little too much like altering a woman’s name to “hysterical”. And it sounds bloody slimy. We should be better than to drop ad hominems in for nasty point-scoring, no?

  11. says

    I’ve heard Anjem Choudary being called Anjem Chuddies by Asians, which is highly insulting. Now of course Gopal isn’t nearly as horrible as Choudary – but she is a primadonna. And if a bloke had come up with the same opinions in the same tone with the name of Primus Smith, I’d call him Primadonna. Ie, someone who seeks attention and lashes out at people who treats them disrespectfully i.e.finds fault with their arguments.

  12. Clemency35 says

    Pryiamvada Gopal outght to be reprimanded. And lying about Douglas Jackson is the kind of thing that the loons at Loon Watch do. Loon Watch is a dubious website. Nobody knows who is behind it. According to ‘Loon Watch Exposed’ their mission is to demonise Jews and Zionism. ilisha has been exposed as a liar here. They just make up stories and smear pro Israel people.

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