UEL cancels Islamic meeting on Stratford Campus
The University of East London cancelled an Islamic meeting on Friday after it was deemed discriminatory towards women and gay people.
UEL’s Lesbian Gay Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) Society lobbied for the meeting to be cancelled along with human rights organisation The Peter Tatchell Foundation and the Braki blog, written by gay, Muslim activist Naseer Muhammad.
According to the groups, the event due to be held on the Stratford Campus in Water Lane was advertised with “segregated seating” where women sit apart from men and featured controversial preachers Khalid Yasin and Jalal Ibn Saeed.
Following protests, the student union confirmed the meeting had been cancelled and the booked room locked as an extra precaution.
A UEL spokesperson said: “A conference had been organised by an external organisation which we have reviewed and declined given that we believe it is in breach of our equality and diversity policy.
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“The Students’ Union confirmed that neither they, nor any student societies, were involved in this booking.”
Human rights campaigner Peter Tatchell said: “Universities are supposed to be places of enlightenment, tolerance, liberalism, and human rights.
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“It is shocking the way student Islamist societies are promoting hate preachers.”
Naseer Muhammad, of the Braki blog, added: “The university was very co-operative and understanding. I am glad the meeting was cancelled because it is wrong for extremists to misinterpret Islam to justify homophobia and other hatreds.”