Search

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

Archant

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 News Stories

Newham University Hospital

The NHS Trust that runs Newham University Hospital has been judged “inadequate” by the country’s top hospital inspector, with safety and leadership highlighted as areas for concern.

Newham University Hospital
Yesterday, 16:27
Alanah Smitten's winning design is the white and navy creation on the model in the front row on the right and the runner up design by Aimee Ward is the uniform on the model in the front row on the left.

A fashion competition has presented a student with the unique chance to see her design transformed into 4,000 NHS uniforms.

NHS
Yesterday, 16:10

A cat has been found hanged from a tree in what has been called an “absolutely disgusting” crime.

Metropolitan Police
Yesterday, 15:18
A Where's Wally experience is coming to the ArcelorMittal Orbit this half term.

The Recorder has rounded up some of the best activities on offer in the borough to help you plan a winning week off...

ArcelorMittal

Most read news

Competitions

Time to experience the dizzy heights of London's tallest attraction!

Morgan Pryce, commercial property experts based in London are offering one lucky reader the chance to win a pair of tickets to The Shard viewing platform in the city itself.

Read more
Cheers!

We’re giving you the chance to win six cases of this fab Bradshaw Chardonnay.

Read more

Digital Edition

Image
Read the Newham Recorder e-edition today E-edition
Family Notices 24


Our trusted business finder