Dec 16 2013
Female students were banned from speaking at a ‘degrading’ university seminar at a top London university, it has emerged. Women attending the class at Queen Mary University were also forced to walk through a ‘sisters only’ entrance before taking their seats at the event which was held by the university’s Islamic society.
ORIGINAL STORY: huh-universities-in-britain-will-now-enforce-gender-apartheid-because-muslims-are-demanding-it
UK Daily Mail The event last month forced female attendees to write down their questions for Ustadh Abu Abdillah, while male students raised their hands to be addressed by the speaker.
One woman who was present at the event titled Deception of the Dunya described the experience as ‘degrading’. She told the Sunday Times: ‘Its not just about segregation but also about how they’re treating women.’
‘It’s one thing to be segregated but a whole other thing being told we are not allowed to speak and men being told not to look at woman,’ said the Arts student who wished to remain anonymous for fear of being attacked (by Muslims) for her views. The devout Muslim said the experience was ’embarrassing’, before adding: ‘You just want to shake them and say “Why are you being so disrespectful?”‘.
A spokesman for the university said: ‘Segregated events are not in line with Queen Mary’s values or equality policy. ‘We will be raising this with our students’ union as this should extend to student society-organised events with external speakers such as this one.’
Earlier this week it was revealed female students at the University of Leicester were forced to sit rows behind male peers at a similar seminar where attendees directed questions to a guest speaker from a hardline Islamist group. Front row seats were reserved for male students at the Call of Duty course in Leicester, where guest speaker Saleem Chagtai took questions on Dawah – a word Muslims use to mean ‘preaching’ or ‘invitation to Islam’.
Mr Chagtai from the Islamic Education and Research Academy said: ‘Separate seating for men and women is not something we ever enforce. ‘It happens naturally and if Muslim women were disadvantaged they would be the first to complain.’
Last week the controversy over gender segregation prompted the Prime Minister to intervene. Mr Cameron said: ‘I’m absolutely clear that there should not be segregated audiences for visiting speakers to universities in Britain. ‘That is not the right approach, the guidance should say that universities should not allow this.’ (Oh, really? See below)
Earlier this week Universities UK – the vice-chancellors’ association – backed down from guidelines it had previously given that apparently allowed campus Islamic societies to impose segregated seating at meetings.
The guidelines have been withdrawn while Universities UK consults with the Equality and Human Rights Commission about the appropriate position. It is expected to be forced to back down permanently.