Marge Simpson becomes speaker for Islamic Education at UCL
THIS image is taken from the website of Islamic Education and Research Academy. It is good to see Marge Simpson and her daughter Lisa getting on with their lives since the artist who did their features quit:
The group organised a talk at University College London called Islam Or Atheism: Which Makes More Sense?.
It depends on who’s talking, we suppose. If we can get Captain Caveman for the atheists, the debate could be interesting…
Archbishop Cranmer covered the event:
University College London is one of our great seats of learning and foremost among UK centres of research. Founded in 1826, UCL was the first university in England to be established on an entirely secular basis: students were admitted irrespective of their religion, and gender equality was a foundational statute.
So it is all the more surprising that a public debate was held on 9th March at which the audience was segregated by gender (ie women in the cheap seats at the back). It was hosted by the Islamic Education and Research Academy (iERA), and the topic was: ‘Islam or Atheism: Which Makes More Sense?’. It pitched atheist Professor Lawrence Krauss against Hamza Andreas Tzortzis…
…it is rather surprising that Hamza Andreas Tzortzis was invited to speak at UCL at all, let alone that they indulged his medieval mosque attitudes in separating the women from the men.
Apparently, Professor Krauss had objected to any such sharia segregation prior to the meeting. When he arrived and witnessed UCL security guards forcing people to change seats, he walked out… One of the attendees Dana Sondergaard wrote on her Facebook page:
Tonight I attended a debate a UCL on Islam and Atheism. After having been told the event would NOT be gender segregated, we arrived and were told that women were to sit in the back of the auditorium, while men and couples could file into the front. After watching 3 people be kicked out of the auditorium for not following this seating plan, Dr. Krauss bravely defended his beliefs of gender equality and informed event staff that he would not participate unless they removed the segregated seating. Needless to say, the staff got their shit together pretty quickly and the event (thankfully) continued. Props to Dr. Krauss for standing up for his beliefs, especially in such a biased environment!This is not Saudi Arabia, though one begins to understand the concerns of those who talk of ‘Londonistan’. It is utterly shameful that UCL security staff helped to enforce this segregation, which must be contrary to the University’s own diversity and equality policies. To justify their actions, the security guards invoked the ‘terrorism’ clause: the three were ejected from their seats because they were deemed to constitute a ‘threat’.
The only threat they posed was to the sensitivities of Hamza Andreas Tzortzis.
Why do ‘human rights’ fly out of the window where Islam is concerned? Why does liberal democracy take a back seat in the toleration of sharia law? Why do universities and public institutions bend over backwards to avoid the charge of ‘Islamophobia’?
The seating arrangements were made known well before this debate took place, so why was it left to just three men to sit with the women in protest? Where were the hordes of equality-loving LGBTers? Where were the ardent and principled feminists? Why were they not demanding seats at the front, with the men?
Any mention of this by the BBC? None at all. What outcry would have greeted a debate at which the audience was segregated black and white or gay and straight. But male and female is okay, because it is the will of Mohammed (pbuh).
Update: UCL’s press office states:
“We do not allow enforced segregation on any grounds [but]… 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.”