Coffee House

It’s time for universities to address segregation on their campuses

15 April 2013

15 April 2013

There’s an interesting battle shaping up on university campuses over Islamic societies segregating their events. Today’s Guardian highlights the most recent example of this at the University of Leicester where men and women were directed to separate entrances for a lecture entitled ‘Does God exist?’

The speaker, Hamza Tzortis, is a member of the Islamic Education and Research Academy, a group which was itself banned from UCL last month after trying to segregate an event. This trend of segregating events in this country is a bizarre one. Even at Islam’s most holy site, the Grand Mosque in Makkah, entrances are not segregated nor is the pilgrimage performed inside. Indeed, all this is reminiscent of the bald warning from Dr Barham Salih in 2008 when he was Deputy Prime Minister of Iraq, that some mosques in Blackburn are more extreme than those in Baghdad.

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Herein lies the problem with so many Islamist organisations operating in Britain. Rather than promote a progressive version of the faith at peace with wider society they often promote even more doctrinaire views than those practised in the Muslim world. IERA’s chairman, Abdulraheem Green, has even warned Muslim parents against allowing their children to celebrate Christmas in schools. He told an audience:

‘You know very well what takes place in these schools … it is all about evolution, Christmas, Easter, St Valentine’s Day – a barrage. And you expect your children to survive? You think you live in a sewer and you come up smelling of roses?’

By contrast, Dubai now hosts an annual Christmas festival. That’s not to suggest the Middle East is home to progressive theology – far from it – but it is a remarkable fact we have organisations like IERA promoting a more austere version of Islam in Britain than even the governments of Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.

During the latter stages of their administration, some Labour ministers began to understand the dangers of this. Ruth Kelly and Hazel Blears led a pushback against extremists operating in the public space by challenging them over their beliefs, and progress was made. Groups like the Muslim Council of Britain were dumped, funding for Muslim Brotherhood organisations was stopped, and new partners were empowered.

Universities consistently refused to play their part, allowing extremism to flourish on campuses around the country. Their concern over segregation now, however belated, is a most necessary first step in redressing this and tipping the balance in favour of genuine progressives.


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Show comments
  • evad666

    Ha the joys of Multiculturalism the next stage to dhimmitude.

  • http://www.facebook.com/roger.hudson.946 Roger Hudson

    Do any really good universities have ‘islamic societies’ that promote this nonsense ? or is it just the 1980s wannabes. Segregation goes right against the idea of free intellectual enquiry that good universities need, they are not producers of job fodder.

  • doctorseraphicus

    Ex-patriots everywhere often seem to show an extreme form of the culture from which they sprang. Likewise converts to a religion are often more extreme than “cradle” believers, Abdulraheem Green, for instance.

    • Yusuf chambers

      Define extremism please.

      • doctorseraphicus

        Doh, how about “being characterised by immoderate and uncompromising opinions or actions”. Which, depending on those opinions or actions, might be a good or a bad thing.

    • Ron Todd

      I’ll dig out the bagpipes then, the neighbours will love that.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100004981542519 Tom Tom

    Christmas is not a Christian Festival nowadays, simply a consumer festival. Dubai has no Christian values in its Consumerist Christmas Fair. Parliament banned Christmas in 1647 because it was non-Christian, so it is hard to take Shiraz Maher or the lunatic fringe Muslim ideologues seriously. After all these Sunni fanatics kill Alawites and yet Alawites are Muslims without mosques who celebrate Christmas and Easter

    • lennart

      The English Revolution was sparked by the banning of Christmas celebrations in 1647. Christmas in not a consumer festival – it is a celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ.

  • HookesLaw

    Universities, last bastion of the pacifist surrender-monkey Left. Why is anyone surprised at this?

    And
    ‘Rather than promote a progressive version of the faith at peace with
    wider society they often promote even more doctrinaire views than those
    practised in the Muslim world.’
    This is correct. Islam is stuck in the middle ages and as such it is simply being used as a stick for oppression. Muslims need to grow up, I’m sure many have but simply turning a blind eye to what is done in their name is not justifiable.

    As for …’Islamic Education and Research Academy’ … I think its pretty safe to substitute propaganda for education and bigotry for research. Given its low standard they are probably streching a point with ‘academy’ as well.

    • Yusuf chambers

      I would like to invite you to our office to see our operation. You are most welcome to come and meet the team. There is nothing like a good chat to get to know the truth. We may have more in common than You think. By the way have the read the quraan? You seem to be somewhat of an expert on Islam.

      • Fergus Pickering

        What drew you to Islam, Yusuf? We long to know, or at least I do.

        • Yusuf chambers

          Fergus. A frequently asked question. After 11 years of research of every ism and schism and ology together with extensive Travel, Islam had a universally acceptable message which I saw was echoed in most of the world religions (you were created for a purpose, to recognise your creator, worship HIm and get rewarded for it or get punished if you don’t recognise and respond with prayers). but all the others lacked a manual, book of instruction which could stand the test of time. The Quraan certainly seems to be that manuel, unchanged in 1400 in Arabic, containing significant information about our condition, including knowledge of the natural world which could not have been known at the time to an unlettered man in the desert. i was also very impressed by the brotherhood of Muslims. I guess the concept of a prime mover, and uncaused cause and faith in the unseen is getting less and less attractive in the minds of so called intellectual Britain today. I wonder how many have asked themselves how they miraculously arrived here with no reason? Thanks for the question. Have a good day.

          • WillyTheFish

            Anything in the koran about Jihad Seeker’ Allowance, book burning or child rape?

            • dalai guevara

              I thought Philpotts was in jail and Bill Wyman on tour.

              • Austin Barry

                Flippant and glib and, above all, evasive.

                • dalai guevara

                  Evasive? Comparative more like.

          • Andy

            I assume you are British ?

            So, if an Islamic Army landed at Tilbury for whom would you fight ? The green banner of Islam or the Queen ??????

            • Yusuf chambers

              Actually, I am Irish.
              If that army was oppressing the people of the UK wrongfully i would stand and fight them. That is my Islamic obligation. Virtually all wars today are about nationalism and imperialist expansion, it is very unlikely an “ISlamic army” would land anywhere right now.

              • Andy

                Do you hold a British Passport ?

                And you didn’t asnwer the question. It is simple enough.

                If an Islamic Army landed for whom would you fight ? The Green Banner of Islam or your Queen ???

                • Yusuf chambers

                  It is not as simple as that Andy and you know that very well. I am not allowed to join an invading army when I am a citizen of this country according to shariah. If I wanted to fight with the opposing army I would first have to relinquish my citizenship, otherwise I would be breaking a trust. Not allowed in the ISlamic faith.

                • Andy

                  It is entirely simple. And it has bugger all to do with damn Shariah. As you wont answer the direct question, you actually answer it indirectly. Because you cannot say that you would fight to defend your Sovereign Lady, whose protection you enjoy, against an army of your co-religionists, that makes you a Traitor.

                  Far too many Muslins think and feel like you. We English have long tolerated different religions: you can believe what you will just so long as you do not betray the State. And therein lies your problem.

    • Austin Barry

      See my post below with respect to Yusuf “Tim” Chambers and his agenda,

  • thanksdellingpole

    Or we could just deport them all.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100004981542519 Tom Tom

      Take your British passport when you board the boat so you have something in common

      • thanksdellingpole

        That’s a good one, but a joke is a joke and reality is reality.

        It is important to be able to tell the difference.

      • thanksdellingpole

        Hey look, you only got 1 recommendation, while I got 8, feel lucky now, do ya, punk!

  • Ron Todd

    Everybody should be free to dress as they want. The problem is differentiating between women who choose to go out in a shroud and women who are forced to go out in a shroud.

    The biggest segregation which western governments seem to ignore is having a whole city that only members of one religion are allowed into. Imagine the outcry if somebody decreed that only Catholics could go to Rome or only Anglicans could go to Canterbury.

  • Austin Barry

    We’ve all seen Islam in operation for a couple of decades, here and elsewhere, and most of us, except our politicians, have probably concluded that it is the most dismal, backward, mean spirited, proscriptive, misogynistic, homophobic and hateful cult.

    Where is the love, the humour and the sheer joy of living?

    • Yusuf chambers

      Austin. Your kind of bigotry has been around since the year dot. It is much better that we find out the truth by honest and fruitful dialogue. Have you read the quraan or any good non biased book on ISlam or have you taken your views from The daily wind up? Have you ever spent an hour in conversation with a Muslim? What do you actually know about Islam?

      • Austin Barry

        “What do you actually know about Islam?”

        Enough, Yusuf (formerly Tim, I believe), enough.

        For example, from the York University’s Union report of 12 June 2012:

        “Yusuf Chambers is a member of the Islamic Research and Education Academy (iERA). The iERA features Muslim fundamentalist preachers who advocate the criminalisation of homosexuality and even the death penalty for same-sex acts. They argue that it is necessary to execute gays to keep society pure. Indeed, Yusuf Chambers was one of the founders of this Academy and in addition to this, has been known to advocate the return of stoning adultress women and is openly against Jews.”

        http://www.yusu.org/your-union/blogs/entry/858

        • dalai guevara

          Austin, with all due respect but are you the reincarnation of Eddie?
          I have not had chance to enjoy such an amount of tripe in ages.
          I have seen societies in which men and women are much l e s s segregated than in Mondeo Man Britain – would anyone ever hold that against us?

          • global city

            ah, in explaining it all away you enable intolerance to continue, and even grow apace. Why would you want to do that?

            • dalai guevara

              Intolerance? I invert by using your own value criteria.

              The conservative right do not support gay marriage
              The conservative right do not support gender equality all the way.
              This is what UNITES them with Muslim extremism.
              Shocking but true.

              • global city

                Do I REALLY need to respond to that? the fundamental flaw in your example is pretty clear…oh, alright then.

                ‘Conservatism’ as a political dogma is fluid. Even it’s core beliefs change radically over time and depending on the prevailing issues. Islam is not. It is rock solid in it’s central tenets, infinitely more than, say, Christianity.

                • dalai guevara

                  Interesting, and good point at the start, but I fear…no, I do not fear, I know that Christianity is also rock solid – which is a good thing.

                • global city

                  I missed an important part of my point. Islam has not had anything like a Reformation, which took the sting out of a lot of the Christian tenets. You are right that the tenets are still there, but the insistence on their absolute adherence to is largely confined to the tiny fundamental edges, where as in Islam the mainstream is still behind theirs being enforced. You can list them yourself to make the comparison.

                  The aggressive, absolutist and proselytising nature of Islam is seen as really important to most Muslims that I know or have meet with and discussed these subjects.

                • dalai guevara

                  The reality of fundamentalism in ANY religion is that there are rarely more than a tiny minority advocating/living by it. Back in the real world, the much more interesting bit (for me at least) are the congruent features, not the disparaties.

                • global city

                  Good point, but then we’re (you and I) not the fundamentalists. Ironically, that makes it easier to dismiss it’s effects on non-conservatives from within that community, in order to ‘display’ our ‘tolerance’.

                  In Islam it must be said that there are more fundamentalists and they are much more active in promoting their cause. There is a much larger proportion of the Muslim community that are traditional or active in their support for these sorts of restrictions/impositions.

                  For those Muslims who would like to not have to conform to these demands, our flapping about and encouraging it because of some notion of diversity or cultural norms of ‘other’ societies, makes it much more difficult for them to do so. It may be a bit of an irritation for us to see this on our TV’s, but for the non-conservative’ Muslim it is suffocating their wishes to live less repressed lives.

                  If the proportions of conservatives/fundamentalists in Christianity and Islam were similar we would just not be having problems with Islam like the ones described in the article… remembering, this being a rather less dangerous, but still offensive manifestation of the religion for western norms.

                • dalai guevara

                  Well, there you go. There are societies (multicultural ones I might add), which have advocated and lived far less ‘religious’ lives -in the sense of following established doctrin- and have fared fairly well. Holland does not face the same issues as we appear to, but I stand corrected if they did.
                  My point is, and you have sort of led me there, is that us ‘encouraging’ diversity subject to our understanding of the law and ethics of course, ought not to discourage those of moderate disposition to follow through on their desires to partake in our society. And I may add, I doubt that we are making it ‘difficult for those’ who wish to pursue socio-cultural integration. In fact, I believe that it is one of the reasons why Britain is highly attractive (can the same be said for Dubai etc?). It is a cultural advantage.

                  Of course there are always crunch points, but a society would fail if it ignored them or denied that they existed. That I do not see happening in Britain today.

                • global city

                  No, no, no! I am not disparaging diversity, what I clearly criticised was turning a blind eye to intolerance or chauvinism in THE NAME of ‘diversity. I agree that assimilation allows those who wish to cast off some of their old culture’s limitations to do so, but can they do that inside a ghetto where all the old mores and in tolerances are supported?

                  I agree with your last point. In fact it was where I came in on this issue. This is exactly what you see happening in the university campus’ when Islamic groups try to impose their ideas onto the student community. This should not be tolerated. The universities must take a strong stand on this sort of backward cultural thinking.

                • dalai guevara

                  We appear to be in agreement then.
                  I did submit an earlier (independent) post which was completely moderated, in which I accused our universities of this:
                  – no longer finding the time to look at social issues (not surprising, given the funding constraints nowadays)
                  – no longer taking to the streets unless it concerns themselves (ie tuition fess, that’s it)
                  – in fact, degenerating so much that they appear to no longer care anymore what goes on around them, never mind on their own campuses.

                  I guess we are looking at the same thing from a different angle, but what we are seeing is the same thing.

                • global city

                  Yes, I think that we are. Prigs are prigs and just because some wear a beard and promote a ‘foreign’ religion or is seen as ‘other’, they should not be excused from the tolerance that we demand of ourselves

              • global city

                I’m sorry DG. I replied to your second post, but both seem to have disappeared!!!

          • Teacher

            Eddie is still posting elsewhere.

        • Yusuf chambers

          This link has been discussed to death. I was interviewing a person on TV. I was not making statements but asking questions. Please do not make the same mistake as others have by misquoting. As I said, come and meet us before your execution by google. Islam is not what I do or say, it is the quraan and the teaching of Mohammed Austin, have you read the quraan? You unlike DR Zakir, didn’t answer my questions.

          • Austin Barry

            “…have you read the quraan?”

            No. Life is too short – and can be suddenly taken away – I prefer empirical observation where Islam is concerned.

            • Yusuf chambers

              Do you have any empirical facts or proof for the beginning of the universe? Sorry you are not open enough to have a chat though, I mean are you afraid we will brain wash you, you should be more open to new possibilities. Perhaps you have a better explanation for the universe and the purpose of life, would be interested in knowing your hypothesis.

              • doctorseraphicus

                Assume the universe exists. Therefore it either had a beginning or it has existed from all eternity. Empirical evidence – the observed pattern of expansion, the constancy of the speed of light – suggests that the former is more likely. More learned individuals might be able to adduce more detailed evidence. (Immanuel Kant suggested that the second of these was nonsensical, since it would imply that an infinite amount of time had preceded the time until right now, which would be absurd since an infinite amount of time cannot have elapsed.)

            • Andy

              I have. Not a good read.

              • Yusuf chambers

                It’s a long book Andy, maybe you should read a good translation, the Arabic is better.

                • Andy

                  No desire to read the bloody thing again. And by a ‘good translation’ one assumes you mean one of those hate filled Saudi things. They ought to be burned and banned.

                  Actually having seen some of those versions, and seen the hate filled language used about Jews and Christians it is high time we had an ‘Authorised Version’ of it. It is also high time, as the Muslim community seem unwilling to do this themselves, that we licensed mosques and preachers, to cut out the hate filled rubbish that far too many of them seem to spout.

            • dalai guevara

              You are displaying utter ignorance on the grandest of scales, in the same way just before ToryOAP got banned.
              But there is a way out, Austin. You can be saved. If you repent, recite the rosary, 50 repetitions and reaffirm that you are a beacon in defending gay marriage and equal pay for women etc.

              Oh the hypocricy on these pages – it is so heartwarming indeed.

          • doctorseraphicus

            Of course, a la carte religions are a joke: I choose the bits I like and ignore the rest. But while we’re here: suppose you had to make a statement.

            Would it be along the lines of “The Qura’an and the teaching of Mohammed clearly state that adulteresses should be stoned and gays killed and, though I have some personal reservations, my submission requires that I hold that these are in fact the just consequences of abhorrent acts and I for one would be happy to see them carried out.”

          • Ytongs

            Sorry Yusuf. I’m not impressed with the religious fervour of the Muslims. I get the impression from their actions that they don’t want to live quietly in our (any) country they either want to change it or destroy it. Oh and I’ve read the Koran. It’s on my bookshelf still.

            • Yusuf chambers

              I have to agree that many Muslims don’t actively add value to our collective living experience here in the UK. I have to admit this and I am not happy about it But using the term “our” and “they” seems to imply “they” do not belong here at all. Many of “them” we’re invited here to build broken Britain after the world wars. I really don’t like your use of language here, reminds me of how people used to speak about the Jewish community in the 1930’s. hope we are not heading towards a right wing ethnic cleansing of Muslim’s. just a point to end the green pound is worth 41 billion and its rising in the UK.

              • Andy

                Well there is plenty of ‘ethnic cleansing’ of Christians in many Muslim countries. Perhaps if you and your fellow co-religionists were persecuted here like Christians are in Saudi Arabia, Egypt and many many other islamic countries you might have a different attitude. But then again perhaps not.

                You pick up the use of ‘they’ and ‘them’. But what do you expect ? All we see is divided loyalty, as you yourself illustrate when asked a variation of the ‘bloody question’. Unless you can answer clearly that you would flight for your Queen, for US in other words, we are always going to be suspicious of you and Islam.

                And you also have to understand how we have been treated by Muslims. We are abused as ‘Kaffars’ (I think that is the word), as ‘Infidels’ and other such derogatory language. That shows what you and your fellow religionists think of us. And then we have scum like Mohammed Sidique Khan, Shedzad Tanweer etc who blow up London Buses and Tubes. What has the Muslim community done to root out such filth ?

          • global city

            You could take this opportunity to disassociate yourself from those more ‘controversial’ aspects of Islamic doctrine, especially the stuff about homosexuality and equality of women to men?

        • http://twitter.com/WholeLottaSusie Sue Ward

          Banged to rights!

        • Ytongs

          Nice one!

      • global city

        What about your bigotry? If you believe all that stuff about women and non Muslims (your ex-community) in the Koran then woe betide us

    • Abhay

      Good one Austin!

      The law of this sacred land should bring its full weight on these segregationists, medieval obscurantists and theocratic fascists.

      Yusuf – stop wasting your time and our time at the same time and go make yourself useful. Read something – science, poetry, history, literature, drama, math, astronomy. If you don’t know where to start let me know. I will give you a reading list.

  • Jebediah

    What a joy the muslim immigrants have been to Britain. I don’t know what we would have done without them. The answer to all this is simple; apply the current laws on sexism, racism, incitement to to violence and the rest. A strong religious belief (of any kind) does not give you the right to ignore the law.

    • kyalami

      “apply the current laws on sexism, racism, incitement to to violence and the rest. A strong religious belief (of any kind) does not give you the right to ignore the law.”

      Exactly.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100004981542519 Tom Tom

      That is why the Germans executed conscientious objectors during the war

    • http://www.facebook.com/susie.plummer.9 Susie Plummer

      True, but that’s no reason to blame all the Muslims living in Britain. The government needs to be stronger making sure British laws are always put first, but there are plenty of non-Muslims who don’t abide by the law, and plenty of Muslims who do.

      • vieuxceps2

        No-one mentioned “all the Muslims”,no-one mentioned”non-Muslims who don’t abide by the law”.Why put up these straw men rather than address the problem under discussion?

      • Ytongs

        It’s not so much who is obeying the law that worries me, important though it is, it’s who wants to turn Britain into what that is the question I think.

  • Russell

    I would like the government to consider banning the burkha, reiterating that sharia law will never be acceptable to British people and some controls must be put in place to protect the British christian society from the never ending lawsuits and compensation claims from either gay/lesbian groups or Islam groups. A re-enforcement of hate law to get these preachers of hate in jail prior to deportation (if appropriate) with no right of appeal to immigration boards/EU courts or anyone else. If a UK court decides jail/deportation, that should be it, particularly if an appeal to the UK so called Supreme court upholds the decisions.

  • itdoesntaddup

    Those who wish to attend or run madrassas should go abroad to do so – and not return. Such attitudes are incompatible with our society.

    An interesting footnote: today we have Prince al Waleed bin Talal declaring that Saudi women should be permitted to drive. The quid pro quo? Deporting 500,000 “illegal immigrant drivers”.

    http://news.oneindia.in/feature/2013/saudi-prince-wants-drive-reforms-with-women-1194402.html

    • The Sage

      On initial reading, I misread that as Prince of Wales bin Talal, but then I thought…..OK, maybe I was right the first time.

      • http://twitter.com/WholeLottaSusie Sue Ward

        Me too!

  • telemachus

    You are correct
    Reasonable folk must stay firm and ensure our historic values obtain
    My worry is that the right wing christian fundamentalists use instances such as this to promote their own agenda which in fact entrenches the attitudes you describe

    • Russell

      Your ‘instances such as this’ are abhorrent and unacceptable to the vast majority of the UK born population (men and women).

      • telemachus

        Absolutely so but also to most immigrant muslims
        My point was we must not allow these heinous episodes to act as fodder for the equally ridiculous fundamentalists of other religions

        • kyalami

          And, indeed, they won’t if they are stopped, as they should be.

    • HookesLaw

      ‘right wing christian fundamentalists’ — like who?
      What is their agenda?
      What is right wing about christian fundamentalism? Are the Amish right wing?

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100004981542519 Tom Tom

      I think you are breaching the Public Order Act Section 5 and urge Fraser to take appropriate action against your incitement

      • Andy

        He always does. He is constantly abusing we Conservatives, who are an oppressed minority.

        • telemachus

          I have the profoundest respect for (true) Conservatives
          The Tories are a different matter

          • Andy

            See ? Fascist are all the same.

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