Saturday, February 04, 2012

A CALL TO ARMS: London Atheist & Secularist student societies under attack

I know on occasions in the past I've asked you, dear readers and fellow bloggers to share something widely that needed wider exposure. Well this situation desperately requires that wider exposure and all the help we can provide, especially as the mass media are notably silent on the issue - very likely because of a self-censoring trend itself inspired by fear of what has befallen others.

As far as I'm concerned, a Rubicon has been passed here in British civil society. Our rule of law and civility has been tested on the litmus of Islamists getting their way through threats and censorship backed by threats and has been found wanting. And it has been found wanting where one of our supposedly safe and hallowed institutions is concerned - the free-thinking (or so we are told) university campuses of Higher Education. This has to be nipped in the bud, now.

You could be forgiven entirely for not having a clue what I'm talking about. So far the most prominent coverage has been in two Sunday comment pieces here and here.

Three separate University Atheist / Secularist student societies have come under attack from islamists. The two milder cases are those at UCL and the LSE.

Alex Gabriel summarises events well so far:

"What’s happened since the Jesus and Mo business started? Well: I’ve been told I’ll be beheaded. Rhys Morgan’s been told in more detail that he’ll be killed. Atheists at UCL have worried their parents will be attacked. Atheists at Queen Mary were told they’d be hunted down if they insulted Mohammad, including their president Jen Hardy who’s feared for her life in the last few days. Maryam Namazie made it sound like this wasn’t unusual in her line of work. All this, and LSESU have the cojones to say it’s Muslims they’re concerned about? If anybody currently requires a safe space, it’s us."

That's right. The worst event so far as been at Queen Mary two weeks ago - students had organised a talk on 'Sharia Law and Human Rights'. An Islamist thug turned up (with help apparently), filmed members of the audience and threatened violence against them if he heard of any "insult to the prophet".

Having now spent some time with the Queen Mary students to find out first hand what happened I can tell you that these kids are feeling not only scared, but also very isolated. Not only do the various students unions involved in these debacles appear to be uncritcially taking the Islamist side against all reason, demanding that the Atheist, Secularist and Humanist societies censor themselves or - in the case of LSE - face expulsion from the Union, but I've heard a number of them asking 'where is the left'?

The police have apparently told them that the worst that will happen is that the individual in question (never mind his mates waiting outside, or those who opened the fire doors in the hall so their pals could get in, or the two who were shouting, demanding to know "who drew the cartoons") is that he'll get an £80 fine. Apparently they can't take it any more seriously because the threat was prefaced with an "if" - i.e. 'if I hear the prophet has been insulted'. What complete and utter arseclownery from our Police Farce. No wonder things are continuing to race downhill at rapid speed in Tower Hamlets. I mean - why on earth would the students be scared, it's not as if there are recent precedents eh? (And with regard to Tower Hamlets itself - let's not forget this litany of shit)

Worse, one of the students discovered a forum where the "brothers" were discussing this intimidation. Whilst there are some calls for restraint, there are plenty of posts on there to send a chill up your spine - "who gave these kuffar the right to speak?" - anyone? To preserve people's anonymity and to also preserve this fuckwittery for posterity and hopefully future police investigation with a police force worth the name not compromised by politically correct Fabianism I have created a resource page with archived pages so there is no need to visit the forum itself (please avoid clicking on the links within the archived pages themselves as you'll end up at the Muppets' forum).

Well - it will come as absolutely no surprise to many readers of this blog  - it seems "the left" is either taking its default position of head in the sand, or worse - in several cases, siding with the Islamists against the students. One of the few noble exceptions to this is Harry's Place - who have kept a careful and critical eye on the ever worsening Islamist problem in the UK and in London (Tower Hamlets) in particular. What's more they attack this issue from the left and represent to me all the good things I thought the left were supposed to represent when I first took an interest in politics at the tender age of 18 many years ago - the same age a lot of these students are who are on the receiving end of this bullshit.

So - I want to appeal to my fellow bloggers - please spread the word on these incidents as these kids are being let down by ALL of the institutions that are supposed to protect them and help them - the police, the media, even their own student unions. And also, PLEASE help to publicise the rally next week in support of these students and anyone else who wants to maintain the right to free expression and NOT be violently threatened as a result.


Ian R Thorpe said...

Good post, I'll certainly spread this around. I don't have much time for the current generation of atheists as they tend to equate atheism with left wing politics and certain pseudo scientific dogmas.

But they must be as free as Islamists to argue their case.

Dol said...

My usual thing of not actually doing anything useful, but pointing to something to read...

"From the fall of the Berlin Wall to the advent of the Web, everywhere you turn you are told that we live in age of unparalleled freedom. This is dangerously naïve. From the revolution in Iran that wasn’t to the imposition of super-injunctions from the filthy rich, we still live in a world where you can write a book and end up dead.

After the fall of the Berlin Wall, the collapse of Communism, and the advent of the Web which allowed for even the smallest voice to be heard, everywhere you turned you were told that we were living in an age of unparalleled freedom.
You Can't Read This Book argues that this view is dangerously naive. From the revolution in Iran that wasn't, to the Great Firewall of China and the imposition of super-injunctions from the filthy rich protecting their privacy, the traditional opponents of freedom of speech - religious fanaticism, plutocratic power and dictatorial states - are thriving, and in many respects finding the world a more comfortable place in the early 21st century than they did in the late 20th.

This is not an account of interesting but trivial disputes about freedom of speech: the rights and wrongs of shouting 'fire' in a crowded theatre, of playing heavy metal at 3 am in a built-up area or articulating extremist ideas in a school or university. Rather, this is a story that starts with the cataclysmic reaction of the Left and Right to the publication and denunciation of the Satanic Verses in 1988 that saw them jump into bed with radical extremists. It ends at the juncture where even in the transgressive, liberated West, where so much blood had been spilt for Freedom, where rebellion is the conformist style and playing the dissenter the smart career move in the arts and media, you can write a book and end up destroyed or dead."

Nick said...

Just found you from the Captains place. I'll be back in the country just before this. If I can square it with the better half, I'll be there! I don't do intimidation by zealots. Hope to buy you one later.

Nick said...

Maybe I should mention that I have absolutely no problem with any religion! Do what you will. as long as it does not infringe on me and mine. You can call my beliefs a crock of Shite. I expect, and will exercise the same.

Smoking Hot said...

Sorry can't be there as will be in Belgium. However Jesus and Mo have been prominent on our FB's for a while now ... and will promote this event.

Smoking Hot said...

Another battle is on today. Paul Chambers is in the High Court trying to everturn his conviction re Twitter Joke about blowing up Docaster Airport.

Durotrigan said...

These are all extremely worrying incidents, and indicate the growing confidence of Islamist thugs as the number of fellow believers increases in this country. Were the Bolsheviks or Nazis majorities in either Russia or Germany when they seized power? No. Any totalitarian ideology, whether it be Communism, Nazism or Islamism, requires only a fearless dedicated vanguard of ideologically committed activists to impose their warped vision on the rest of society. Our absurd policies born of multiculturalism - such as anti religious hatred legislation - give these fanatics succour and the opportunity to thrive. The only way that we'll solve this problem is by taking a robust and uncompromising approach, and challenging and draining the ideological swamp in which they wallow. This necessitates first and foremost the abandonment of the misguided policies of multiculturalism and cultural relativism.

James Higham said...

LOL. The Muslims are at it again so you blame Jesus. Like that one.

john in cheshire said...

I'd have more sympathy with atheists if they had behaved more reasonably towards us Christians. What goes around comes around. Enjoy.

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