Friday, March 15, 2013

London University Bans Islamic Organization Over Gender Segregation At Debate

Good for Professor Lawrence Krauss and the University College London for taking a stance against Islamic gender segregation. First, on March 9, atheist Krauss walked out on a lecture "Islam or Atheism: Which Makes More Sense?"  where he was to debate Hamza Andreas Tzortzis, after he noticed gender segregation was being enforced. Then the university banned the Islamic Education and Research Academy (iERA)-  proponents of gender segregation and the hosts of the debate- from participating in any future events.

When Krauss saw people being moved from their seats, he said he would not speak at an event that was segregated and walked out to cheers and boos from the audience. An organiser pursued him and said segregation would be abandoned.

UCL said in a statement: "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."

Saleem Chagtai, head of PR at iERA, expressed disappointment at the ban and denied that the group had tried to enforce segregation at the event.

Chagtai claimed that the group had offered audience members separate seating, with mixed-sex seating at the front of the lecture theatre with rows only for men and women who wished to adhere to their religious beliefs further back.

He said: "I would classify segregation as people saying, 'you're a man you sit there, you're a woman you sit there'. We understood that we could not enforce separate seating but we could facilitate it."

The rest here.

I'm proud of them for taking a stance. Perhaps there is still hope for England.

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