Since Human Rights Activist Maryam Namazie was the target of disruption and intimidation at Goldsmiths University at the hands of Islamist bullies – I’ve been following new developments with great interest.
The latest in this saga sees Muhammed Patel step down as President of the Islamic Society at Goldsmiths according to a statement from ISOC. I’ve documented his questionable associations here previously.
What prompted this step down? It came as a surprise to absolutely no-one when homophobic tweets said to belong to Mr Patel were uncovered. The Twitter account in question has now been deleted, but the internet never forgets:
The LGBT and Feminist societies who jumped to offer ISOC their solidarity have been strangely silent on these findings.
As is clear from this latest ISOC statement, they are still portraying themselves as the victims in this sorry debacle. Unfortunately for them, video of the event has gone viral. Hundreds of thousands of people have now witnessed the appalling way in which their members behaved. This has also been covered on mainstream news platforms and by prominent free speech organisations.
I’m not sure the ISOC ‘brothers’ quite understand what is happening here. They have thrown the reputation of Goldsmiths university into question on a national, possibly international scale. The heads a Goldsmiths will not be fond of that and will be forced to act. In short, ISOC brothers are not fighting for the reputation of their society, but for their future in higher education. I have two suggestions for action which are well overdue:
1. They should issue an unconditional apology to Maryam Namazie for disrupting her talk and creating an intimidating environment for her and the other students. They should also confirm that this will never happen again.
2. They should confirm that they understand and support free speech – which includes the right to draw cartoons of Muhammad. Or criticise Islamic doctrine and the behaviour of some of its adherents.
These things are unlikely to happen of course, because they are the right thing to do and ISOC have failed to demonstrate a capacity for it thus far. Given their irredeemable character and the embarrassment they have brought their University, I don’t imagine the future looks good for them.
Stephen Knight is host of The #GSPodcast. You can listen to The Godless Spellchecker Podcast here, and support it by becoming a patron here.