The popular monotheistic religions have an established history of violent outbursts in response to perceived transgressions. One faith in particular stands out at this moment in time for its refusal to join the enlightenment.
Some may recall the reports of Qur’ans being desecrated by U.S guards at Guantanamo in 2005. This sparked deadly riots throughout the Muslim world.
At the tail end of last month it was reported that Maryam Namazie was subjected to harassment and intimidation by members of The Islamic Society during a planned talk at Goldsmiths University. Video footage arrived shortly after confirming these reports to be true. Goldsmiths Student Union promised an investigation on the 3rd of December, however alarm bells began to ring when instead of immediately condemning the inexcusable behaviour documented in the video – the Student Union demanded the removal of the footage, in what appears to be a cynical attempt at damage control. Read more
This week on Taking The Myth, Stephen Knight and A Scotsman Abroad discuss the big topics with guest callers. We talk about the appalling treatment of Maryam Namazie at Goldsmiths University by the Islamic Society. We talk the equally awful reaction to it. We share our thoughts on Donald Trump and have a disagreement about teaching humanism in schools. Plus The ASLAN Awards return! A Scotsman Abroad also blames something on religion.
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Thanks to released video footage, there can be no remaining doubt that Maryam Namazie was subjected to intimidation and general thuggish behaviour during her Goldsmiths University talk by members of The Islamic Society (ISOC). It’s now also clear that ISOC lied about what happened too.
Bizarrely, Goldsmiths Feminist Society then came out not in support of the minority female whom male ISOC bullies attempted to silence, but in support of the aggressors themselves. This catastrophic failure to reason had many asking: “Is it possible to be more morally confused than this?”
As if mistaking this rhetorical incredulity for a challenge, Goldsmiths LGBT Society released a statement in support of ISOC’s thuggish Islamists too. Amazingly, they did this after watching the video footage.
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.