Secularist speaker barred from university

Secularist speaker barred from university

Ex-Muslim and outspoken secularist Maryam Namazie, above, has been branded as ‘too inflammatory’ to deliver a talk at Warwick University.

Namazie today reports that she had been invited to speak at university by the Warwick Atheists, Secularists and Humanists’ Society on October 28 but had received notification from the Warwick University Student Union that she was not welcome.

The union said it had researched both her and her organisation:

A number of flags have been raised. We have a duty of care to conduct a risk assessment for each speaker who wishes to come to campus.

There a number of articles written both by the speaker and by others about the speaker that indicate that she is highly inflammatory, and could incite hatred on campus. This is in contravention of our external speaker policy.

The union drew her attention to its rules regarding speakers. These included not spreading “hatred and intolerance in the community” and “avoiding insulting other faiths or groups”.

In addition to this, there are concerns that if we place conditions on her attendance (such as making it a member only event and having security in attendance, asking for a transcript of what she intends to say, recording the speech) she will refuse to abide by these terms as she did for Trinity College Dublin.

Said Namazie:

The Atheist group is of course appealing their decision, however, it’s important for me to comment briefly on the Student Union’s position. I will be writing a more detailed letter to the university to formally complain about the Student Union accusations against me after taking legal advice.

For now, though, suffice it to say that criticising religion and the religious-Right is not incitement of hatred against people. If anything, it’s the religious-Right, namely Islamism in this case, which incites hatred against those of us who dare to leave Islam and criticise it.

The Student Union seems to lack an understanding of the difference between criticising religion, an idea, or a far-Right political movement on the one hand and attacking and inciting hate against people on the other.

Inciting hatred is what the Islamists do; I and my organisation challenge them and defend the rights of ex-Muslims, Muslims and others to dissent.

She added:

It’s a topsy turvy world when ‘progressives’ who are meant to be on our side take a stand with our oppressors and try to deny us the only tool we have to resist – our freedom of expression.

And she defiantly concluded:

By the way Warwick, in case you’re wondering, I will speak at your university – as I will be soon at Trinity College Dublin despite my initial talk being cancelled by organisers.

Hat tip: BarrieJohn

46 responses to “Secularist speaker barred from university”

  1. Angela_K says:

    Another one way street for free speech, blocked at one end. The quality of today’s students is certainly in decline and an insult to democracy.

  2. andym says:

    No reader of Nick Cohen will be in the least bit surprised at this. The NUS are a fifth column for Islamism and have been doing this for years.

  3. Har Davids says:

    We can’t have people using their supposed freedom of speech to speak their mind, because feeble-minded morons will call this fomenting “hatred and intolerance in the community” and we must all we can do stop people from hearing unpleasant truths.

    Once upon a time universities were places you went to to broaden your horizons.

  4. AgentCormac says:

    Into what kind of absurd, torturous logical knots must these idiots tie themselves in order to arrive at a decision where someone who wishes to critise the self-evident aggression of islam is seen to be ‘inflammatory’ and considered to be ‘inciting hatred’? What a joke! I would just love to be a fly on the wall at some of these committee meetings where they try to figure out whose inalienable rights they hold most dear. Wankers.

  5. TrickyDicky says:

    How long have Students Unions run universities?

    Sounds a bit like inmates running an insane asylum.

  6. Broga says:

    The University attitude, like the governments and the BBC, is that they are enthusiastic supporters of freedom of speech as long as nothing is said of which they disapprove.

    On which subject I see that the NSS wants Thought for the Day to be used for discussing philosophy and open to secular speakers. Such a suggestion will give the BBC religious mafia the shakes. Imagine a thought provoking philosophical topic beside the usual religious repetitive banalities.

    The last thing the religious hegemony at the BBC want is anything on a previously religious item that might make the listeners think.

  7. 1859 says:

    This decision – and many like it by our so-called universities – is slowly asphyxiating the very essence of a liberal democracy, and that is the freedom to discuss, the freedom to be open-minded, the freedom to dissent, the freedom to criticise, the freedom to challenge, the freedom to oppose and be opposed.Without these freedoms democracy is crippled and doomed to atrophy. Shame on the students union who are afraid of taking risks for the sake of preserving democracy. They are Muppets.

  8. John the Drunkard says:

    Meanwhile, student groups express ‘solidarity’ with HAMAS and Hezbollah, call for boycotts of Israel, and sponsor rabidly anti-Semitic organizations and activities.

    Since Nasser went for aid from Russia (1956) anti-semitism, even unto its exterminationist extreme, has been magically made ‘progressive.’

  9. So What! says:



  10. So What! says:

    BBC …….put this brave lady a chance on R4 @ around 7.45am. Go on just do it. I’m sure AA won’t mind doing the Christian thing by giving up her next slot to Maryam.

  11. Great Satan says:

    Here is a local news paper report on the issue – if people want to write in and express their disgust ;
    and they say universities are a place of learning and research … what a joke, apart from the science subjects they are just becoming pc commissar indoctrination camps.

  12. Great Satan says:

    And here are a couple more reports ; Secular activist Maryam Namazie barred from speaking at Warwick University over fears of ‘inciting hatred’ against Muslim students – NSS quoted
    Independent, 26 Sept 2015
    Ex-Muslim human rights campaigner Maryam Namazie banned from Warwick University because she’d offend Islam – NSS quoted
    Yahoo News, 26 Sept 2015

  13. Angela_K says:

    @Great Satan. I read the Independent’s report earlier and noticed that no comments are allowed, another example of censorship.

    More dhimmis:

  14. andym says:

    Angela. It seems comments are now allowed on the Independent piece.

  15. barriejohn says:

    “It’s deja vu all over again.”

    (Farewell, Yogi Berra.)

  16. Broga says:

    The students’ union was not available for comment. Having enforced their censorship the cowards are now not prepared to defend their actions.

  17. andym says:

    Not really off topic, I see BBC News channel has a programme on the Bangladeshi blogger murders- 9.30 tonight.

    It seems at Warwick SU you’d have more chance getting a platform to endorse those murders than you would to condemn them.

  18. Graham Martin-Royle says:

    Why is the SU allowed to do this? I thought it was the Uni that ran the Uni.

  19. Trevor Blake says:

    We are ruled by those we may not criticize. We are stifled by those we may not criticize who may criticize us. We are driven mad by those we may not criticize who may criticize us who all the while say they stifle us for the common good.

  20. Ivan says:

    “…A number of flags have been raised…”

    Black flags.

  21. So What! says:

    Do as I did and complain to the SU at Warwick using this link.

  22. Brian Jordan says:

    The basic problem with SU officials is that they are so bloody self-important. They were so in my day and sound to be far more so now. Hardly surprising as most of them do it because they are aspiring politicians and these days it’s the major route of entry.

  23. barriejohn says:

    Brian Jordan: My experience as well. Very few took any interest in SU matters whatsoever, so the officers were voted in by a mere handful and did what they liked. My father belonged to the Electrical Trades Union in the 1950/60s and said the same thing; no one ever attended meetings, but they all squawked, “How did that motion get passed then?”

  24. Great Satan says:

    We need these Polish fans in the audience at the next secular vs muslim debate ! ;

  25. Stuart H. says:

    Well, that’s another Russell Group university off the wish-list for my child’s education.

    Thanks, Warwick Islamofascists, you just saved me at least £30,000.

  26. Vanity Unfair says:

    To Ivan:
    I thought “white flags” but I’ll go along with you.

  27. lesliedubow says:

    Warwick NUS is obviously run by a bunch of Islamic extremists who do not believe if academic freedom if it involves criticism of their ideology its got to be a piss poor university if it is not willing to allow debate of issues they consider controversial

  28. andym says:

    I doubt if Islamic extremists hold many posts. At least that would make things clear. It’s probably worse. Leftists in thrall to any anti-western ideology , sure that any criticism of Islam-even from ex-Muslims is veiled racism.

  29. lesliedubow says:

    Censored again by intolerant extremists protecting or pretending to protect us from the dangers of hearing the truth about Islamic extermism

  30. AgentCormac says:

    ‘Warwick NUS is obviously run by a bunch of Islamic extremists who do not believe if academic freedom if it involves criticism of their ideology…’

    Actually, I seriously doubt that, lesliedubow. More likely it’s run by a bunch of utterly deluded, horribly misguided, white, idealistic, middle-class idiots who think they are doing the right-on thing by siding with anyone they perceive is aligned against capitalism and ‘western imperialism’. What they have yet to learn is that those they purport to support would happily murder them and their families in their beds if they ever got the chance to seize power. Bloody idiots.

  31. Stephen Mynett says:

    Agreed AC, although you could have added politically correct, cultural relativistic post-modernist dirtbags.

  32. andym says:

    Lenin called Western supporters of Bolshevism, “Useful idiots.” That would be exactly how Islamists see these fools.

  33. Laura Roberts says:

    @Brian, @barriejohn: my experience in America was exactly the same. The SU were entirely irrelevant, practising to become irrelevant career politicians. On the bright side, because they were so ineffectual, I also don’t recall them summoning the will to refuse any speakers on campus.

  34. andym says:

    Said fools have already started backing down in the face of the opposition. Apparently we’re all premature. “No final decision has been taken.” Bollocks it hadn’t. Slippery as well as gullible, I’d say that’s quite a dangerous combination.

  35. andym says:

    Not sure how relevant this will be , as I suspect a U-turn now, before too long. BUT.Warwick SU have had at least two openly homophobic Islamist speakers since 2012. See the last couple of paragraphs for a wider view of the petty-commissars who run the SU.

  36. barriejohn says:

    Laura/Brian: The thing that was so outrageous was that if you wanted to join one of the student organizations that held meetings on campus you had to join the SU, even though they weren’t providing the facilities! That caused a lot of ill feeling, especially amongst the Christians. The authorities were as supine then as they are now.

  37. andym says:

    @Barrie. As well as censors, it seems the police have now set themselves up as final arbiters on the age-old question,”What is Art?”

  38. […] had been blocked from speaking at a Warwick Atheist, Secularist and Humanist Society event after the Student Union said the ex-Muslim campaigner could “insult” religion. The SU […]