Islamic student group accuses UEL of ‘victimisation’ over segregated dinner

13:01 02 May 2014

The flyer for the cancelled UEL Isoc event

The flyer for the cancelled UEL Isoc event


EXCLUSIVE: A campus Islamic Society has complained of “victimisation” after its university cancelled a dinner event that was advertised as segregated by gender.

UEL Isoc defended segregation on TwitterUEL Isoc defended segregation on Twitter

The University of East London’s Isoc claimed the segregation, which would have meant separate seating for men and women, was advertised by mistake due to a printing error by an external company.

However, it defended the policy on its Twitter feed with the hashtag “SegregationIsNotHate”, and said the hastily re-arranged April 17 dinner went ahead in a North London mosque with segregated seating.

An Isoc spokesman said: “We are very disappointed that the university did a U-turn less than 24 hours prior to the event.

“They listened to external right-wing groups rather then listen to their own students.”

Activist Peter Tatchell lobbied UEL over the eventActivist Peter Tatchell lobbied UEL over the event

He added: “It’s a sad day when a university with one of the highest proportion of Muslim students begins to victimise them.”

The university rejected the accusations, saying it acted swiftly to enforce its Equality and Diversity policy after receiving complaints about the 2,500 flyers and the billed speakers.

Dusty Amroliwala, Deputy Vice-Chancellor at UEL, said: “I reject any idea that we are ‘victimising’ or ‘unfairly scrutinising’ the Society. UEL has a proud record of defending democracy, promoting free speech and intellectual curiosity.

“But we cannot allow enforced segregation at lectures, nor can we offer a public platform to speakers who are known to preach extreme messages that could constitute a hate crime.”

He added: “We would have come to the same conclusion had this been any another society, religious or otherwise, where the circumstances had been the same.”

UEL was also concerned about speaker Murtaza Khan, who has been filmed referring to “filthy non-Muslim doctors”, but approved his attendance after he apologised for the remarks, which he called “damaging to community relations”.

However, gay rights campaigner Peter Tatchell alerted UEL to another video that shows Mr Khan saying homosexuals should be killed.

Mr Amroliwala said: “The suggestion that certain groups of people should be thrown off a mountain or stoned is language that incites hatred and cannot be condoned.

“The only reasonable and appropriate decision was to withdraw the university’s facilities from being used to support this event.”

He added that UEL has not received any complaints from the Isoc.

Related articles

Latest Newham News Stories

Yesterday, 18:17

Five men, including two already in prison, have been found guilty of committing hundred of thousands of pounds of tax fraud.

Yesterday, 18:00

The head of London City Airport has praised the government for approving Heathrow expansion plans.

Sadiq Khan
Yesterday, 16:31

British Transport Police (BTP) have identified a man they would like to speak in connection with the theft of a mobile phone.

British Transport Police
Yesterday, 15:30

A Baptist minister will invite listeners to explore the history of the country’s most religious borough with a presentation delving into 1,000 years of history.


Newsletter Sign Up

Most read news


Show Job Lists


Cosmetics, toiletries, vitamins and more. Boots is the number one choice when it comes to purchasing daily essentials.

Read more

If you’re obsessed with Apple or just love a good gadget, this is a prize that will blow you away! An incredible £3,333 to spend on Apple goodies! How would you like to be the proud new owner of the Apple Watch?

Read more

Digital Edition


Enjoy the
Newham Recorder
e-edition today


Education and Training


Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now