Reading Uni have not got a good record on Free Speech, as I posted elsewhere. I would also call on the NUS to condemn that society for inviting hate-preachers to speak, but this won’t happen either. Suddenly Fascist Hate Speech is acceptable if it’s dressed up as Religion. We are living in dangerous times, people.
It’s confusing as it says ‘By Peter Tatchell’ and then he goes on and refers to himself in the third person? I agree wit him though
The headlines and abstract paragraphs are not written by the article authors.
The first paragraph, in bold, is a sort of sub-heading, introducing the article that follows.
A thorough and comprehensive article. Thanks Peter.
It’s time that universities declared themselves constitutionally secular, and banned things like the ‘Muslim Society’… which to me is something akin to ‘After School Nazi Club’.
Reading University’s equivocation is disappointing and unimpressive.
I have twice written very polite emails to my MP John Pugh regarding this and the similar incident with Manchester University. He voted against equal marriage and has accepted a £4,000 grant form the RC church, he has not replied at all to my concerns. If anybody else would like to contact him regarding this, his website can be googled and contains a web contact form on the contact page.
If you haven’t already, would advise you to try and contact him via this site: http://www.writetothem.com/
It is an official site which records your email and will monitor to see if your MP replies and whether it is a proper reply or just an acknowledgment. I have found it worked with my MP.
Reading University when I attended was bigoted and encouraged hate crime and discrimination against students which had trouble coming to terms with coming out.
I still bear the emotional scars now.
Isn’t pandering to any religion the opposite of what any university worthy of the name should be doing?
A great article, Peter and to the point.
To digress, I strongly urge you to out any catholic hierarchy leading a duplicitous life as well as those MPs who voted against equal marriage. Both cases warrant nothing less than full exposure for their bigotry and hypocrisy and for helping fan the flames of homophobia, intolerance and hateful rhetoric against equal marriage. They shouldn’t be alowed to get away with it.
It’s ludicrous of Tatchell to compare the EDL with this fascist. I have been challenging Tatchell for 2 years now to provide any evidence where the EDL says anything like “kill all muslims”. Tatchell is a racist who despises the EDL because they are white and working class.
But Tatchell gets away with this 2-Minute Hate every time. Big Brother & Joseph Goebbels would both be proud of Tatchell’s slimy behaviour.
Where’s the evidence Tatchell?
In reply to Joe: I never said the EDL says “kill all Muslims.” But I’ve heard plenty of sweeping anti-Muslim abuse, plus racism, from some (not all) EDL members / supporters.
I am sure many on this site would be interested to know exactly what your opinion is of the English Defence League. Your comment above is true. Undoubtedly the EDL attracts these racist and thug elements but the EDL claim they make strenuous efforts to make it clear they are unwanted among their ranks and have taken strong (violent) action to get rid of them because they detract from the EDL’s claim to be non-racist. The EDL also claim on their website that they are not anti-muslim but oppose Islamic extremists and the imposition of Shariah Law. They also make unequivocal their support for the LGBT community as well as their opposition to anti-Semitism and abuse of women. What exactly should we believe?
The UAF, on the other hand, claim the EDL’s purpose is sinister. Meanwhile they march hand in hand with the muslims who want to kill LGBT people (and Jews) Peter. As a gay, vegan, long-term member of the Green Party I should be a natural supporter of UAF but I don’t trust them.
Continued from above.
The UAF have not distanced themselves from Islamic extremism, in fact they appear to fully support it by their association with these people who preach hatred and violence against gays, Jews and women.
What exactly is a reasonable, liberal, tolerant person to believe and support? With which faction should one align oneself? Is it even possible to do this?
As someone who is probably more knowledgable than most about these opposing dogmas, Peter, I am sure many who visit this site would welcome your analysis of them. Certainly there are many here who have taken sides either with or against the EDL and extreme Islam but what about the rest of us who don’t know who to believe? Your comment articles are always of great interest and debate here so how about one that adresses these issues?
x Mr. F.
“I’ve heard plenty of sweeping anti-Muslim abuse, plus racism, from some (not all) EDL members / supporters.”
Why the double standards? Some (not all) muslims have blown up buses and tubes in London. Some muslims have assassinated writers and filmmakers. In all cases, they cited islam as their motivation.
Therefore, since some muslims have done that YOU should be hostile to islam.
99.5% of British muslims are anti-gay (Gallup, 2009) . Yet you still stand with them against an organisation that supports gay rights. At last week’s EDL demo in Manchester, one of the muslims who goes to EDL demos got a massive round of applause. Did you get applause from the muslims you stood with at East London Mosque? No!
You are not interested in gay rights. You are interested in your own self-promotion.
Your Foundation exploits the deaths of those gay people executed under sharia law, yet you support islam and muslims, even when they have de-gayed east London.
You may say the EDL is not a Racist or Fascist organisation, but there is this pic doing the rounds at the moment…
I HOPE these are not representative of your organisation, and I hope you expel them and don’t allow them at your rallies any more.
For the record I would rather the EDL to be against ALL religious interference in public life, but in the mean-time I will have to settle for the National Secular Society, who have campaigned against this kind of thing since it began.
Expel? I think being a national socialist should be a criminal offense, and the punishment should be the death penalty. But why should anyone be surprised if national socialists or racists turning up to EDL demonstrations, when people like Tatchell (and the media in general) tell them that is the place for them to go?
Perhaps you missed the Newsnight programme from 2009, where a collection of EDL leaders (black and white) burned the Swastika, and made it clear their organisation despises national socialists and fascists including islamofascists. http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=178940275457083&set=a.174572482560529.40860.132236756794102&type=3&theater
Would you be happy to march alongside paedophiles and rapists, if Tatchell and the media told such people that they should go to Gay Pride marches, “because such events are full of people like that”? I certainly wouldn’t. For every man like the one you show in the photo, I blame people like Tatchell for him being there.
I don’t like UAF’s stance on Islamism (I think they’re protesting on the wrong side), I despise all the idiot Student Unions that invite bigots of any kind to speak, and I want ALL religion shoved into the realms of history, like Child Sacrifice and Gladiatorial Arenas.
As for having fascists and racists infiltrating ANY group; that’s why you have to be vigilant about your members and associates when you start protest groups. Let’s try and focus on the ones trying to cause the trouble on both sides.
Tatchell also fails to acknowledge that the EDL’s gay division was actively engaged in protesting against this homophobic fascist being invited to speak by educated British muslims.
Where was the “moderate muslim” group asking for people to protest against this fascist? Why is it that educated muslims with enough money to go to Uni are inviting these people to speak? The myth we are told is that it is uneducated, poor, unintegrated muslims who follow people like this. Another of these hate preachers was going to be speaking at Colchester, but Casuals/EDL stopped that too.
Where was the gay group outside EDL who were planning a protest? Where were the (self-styled) “anti-fascists”? Nowhere to be seen as usual, because gay people are to be sacrificed “for the cause”.
The UAF is now an islamo-fascist organisation. Their leaders have openly stated their love for islamic terrorists like Anwar Al-Awlaki.
The UAF’s 2013 conference was paid for by the Muslim Council of Britain, Engage, London Muslim Centre, East London Mosque, Islamic Forum of Europe and the British Muslim Initiative.
The UAF has been bought and paid for by a group of people who have ethnically cleansed east London of gay people. The very muslims institutions that host homophobic speakers give money to the UAF so that the UAF will protect them from criticism!
And these are the people who Tatchell allies himself with, instead of the EDL who get homophobic speakers banned from universities, who get islamo-fascist conferences banned from our cities.
This is just what I’ve been saying since this crap kicked off the other week.
Well said Peter.
I know it’s old, but this may be of interest (I’m not expressing any opinion here, just sharing information) http://www.safecampuscommunities.ac.uk/