Goldsmiths Islamic And Feminist Societies Are A Disgrace
A few days ago I wrote about Goldsmiths Islamic Society’s (ISOC) attempts to have Maryam Namazie disinvited from a talk arranged by the Atheist, Secularist and Humanist Society (ASH). The ‘reasons’ put forward by ISOC were the usual collection of smears and hyperbole bolstered by co-opting the language of certain regressive principles – namely bleating that their ‘safe space’ had been violated.
Despite all their bluster on social media, no official complaint was received from the student union and Maryam Namazie’s talk went ahead as planned. I previously accused ISOC of attempting to enforce Islamic blasphemy laws on campus, rather than having sincere concerns about ‘safe spaces’, and this latest bout of behaviour seems to confirm this beyond doubt.
Having failed to prevent Maryam from speaking, it seemed a change of tactics were required– namely the use of intimidation, harassment, disruption and alleged death threats. On her blog, Maryam Namazie reports of the evening:
After my talk began, ISOC “brothers” started coming into the room, repeatedly banging the door, falling on the floor, heckling me, playing on their phones, shouting out, and creating a climate of intimidation in order to try and prevent me from speaking.
I continued speaking as loudly as I could. They repeatedly walked back and forth in front of me. In the midst of my talk, one of the ISOC Islamists switched off my PowerPoint and left. The University security had to intervene and remain in the room as I continued my talk.
Eventually the thug who had switched off my PowerPoint returned and continued his harassments. At this point, I stood my ground, screamed loudly and continued insisting that he be removed even when the security said he should stay because he was a student.
Another CEMB [Council Of Ex-Muslims] activist said one of the ISOC thugs disrupting the meeting threatened him by pointing a finger to his head.
Details of this alleged death threat were expanded on in The London Student:
Allegations were also made in last night’s event that certain members of the audience had issued direct death threats. One speaker, lecturer and activist Reza Moradi, said that the person threatening him “looked right into my eyes and with his finger, shaping hand like a handgun, touched his forehead.”
He said: “I asked the security guard if he saw the death threat and he confirmed it”, adding that he has had “many issues with Islamists and lots of threats but this one was different.”
Toeing the line of Islamist victim mentality, ISOC spun this series of events as an attack on them in a statement on their Facebook page:
Goldsmiths Islamic Society (ISOC) would like to categorically condemn the vile harassment of our ISOC members (both male and female) by the Atheist, Secularist and Humanist Society (ASH).
On Monday 30th November, students of Goldsmiths University, alongside members of the public attended an event organised by the ASH titled “Apostasy, Blasphemy & Free Expression, In the age of ISIS”. The ASH invited Maryam Namazie, who is known as a notorious islamophobe to speak at the event, despite our polite request for them to reconsider. The university should be a safe space for all our students. Islamophobic views like those propagated by Namazie create a climate of hatred and bigotry towards Muslim students.
Muslim students who attended the event were shocked and horrified by statements made by Namazie, and peacefully expressed their dissent to the disrespectful cartoons shown of the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh). These students were subsequently made subject to unnecessary bullying, abuse and violence by the ASH society and security staff. Some students were even forcibly removed from the event.
Following the event, members of the public who were present at the event have been tweeting unauthorised pictures of our University students with fabricated statements regarding false allegations of “death threats”.
We would like to make it very clear that Muslim students did NOT make any alleged “death threats”. This is a fabrication made by supporters of the ASH and Namazie in an attempt to distort the truth and further marginalise Muslim students for expressing dissent at offensive statements and images.
A university should be a safe environment/space for all students including Muslims in this sensitive time. Hateful statements that encourage Islamophobia by Namazie and the ASH can lead to very serious & violent consequences towards the Muslim students at the university. A university institution needs to prioritise the safety of its students and take action to ensure students are not harrassed/intimidated online or on campus.
Apparently, the PowerPoint presentation was shut down by a member of ISOC when the mentioned ‘disrespectful cartoons’ of Muhammad were shown. The cartoons in question were that of the excellent Jesus & Mo series. Below is a typical example of their work:
Let this sink in: At a University in London in 2015, some Muslims think it’s acceptable to enforce Islamic blasphemy laws – in response to cartoons. These theocratic bullies aren’t ISIS, Al Qaeda, or Boko Haram – but privileged, British students in the English capital. We have a serious problem.
And as if solely to prove their redundant absurdity, Goldsmiths Feminist Society release a statement in solidarity with ISOC. This is the same ‘Feminist’ society that disinvited comedian Kate Smurthwaite from a planned gig due to complaints about her ‘Islamophobic’ material. Before cancelling her, they had initially warned her that she must maintain their ‘safe space’ by not disagreeing with certain views the Feminist society were ‘for’. I’m not joking.
A pervasive strain of toxic western feminism is on show here. It seems they hold two books for equality: One for themselves, and one for the browner, less ‘them’ people. Like Namazie, they should be screaming from the rooftops about the oppression visited on women in the name of Islam. Instead, we have an instance where a group of men openly harassed and intimidated a woman minority (Iranian ex-Muslim), and the feminist society chose to stand with her aggressors. ’Feminists‘ siding with Islamists is akin to PETA sponsoring your local steak night. This is an utterly shameful display of moral confusion.
Video of Maryam’s talk should be released in the coming days, which should paint a clearer picture of what occurred and enable the relevant authorities to take action if necessary.
Universities need to make it crystal clear that the U.K is not beholden to any tenets of sharia and that free speech is more important than hurt feelings. These principles transcend any ‘cultural sensitivity’. Our institutions and society at large need to challenge this kind of behaviour in the strongest possible terms, wherever they encounter it and nurture a climate where engaging in this deplorable manner comes with a lasting cost for one’s reputation.
UPDATE: Video of the event can now be viewed here.