- Maryam Namazie says university tried to impose unacceptable conditions on event
|An image from Maryam Namazie’s website with a claim that Monday’s speech at Trinity College Dublin on apostasy and the rise of Islam has been “cancelled by organisers”.|
Maryam Namazie was due to give a speech at the Society for International Affairs on Monday, March 23rd.
In a blog posted on Friday, Ms Namazie claimed the society feared the event could be one-sided and that it had taken advice from college security on imposing certain conditions.
“I’ve just been informed...that college security (why security?) has claimed that the event would show the college is ‘one-sided’ and would be ‘antagonising’ to ‘Muslim students’; they threatened to cancel my talk,” he blog post read.
Ms Namazie wrote that, after consultation with college management, Trinity College Dublin would let the event proceed, subject to conditions. “All attendants of the event must be 1) Trinity students and 2) members of the society hosting the talk.
“For ‘balance’, they require that a moderator host the event; Prof. Andrew Pierce of the Irish School of Ecumenics has kindly agreed to do so.”
Ms Namazie wrote she would not do the talk subject to the conditions:
particularly since such conditions are not usually placed on other speakers. It is crucial that I be able to speak against Islamist fascism and honour our dissenters deemed apostates, blasphemers, heretics… whether ex-Muslims, Muslims or non-Muslims.
Ms Namazie told The Irish Times she was contacted by the student society Sofia on Friday night about the impending event after college security raised concerns with the society.
I said I would come as planned if the conditions are removed but the society then started defending the conditions. The Facebook page which announced my talk, has been removed.
After security at the college contacted the society about the event, these conditions were put in place. Prior to that it was meant to be an event that was open to the public.
The two conditions were that the event would only be open to the students of the college and this was meant to be an open meeting, like previous meetings in Trinity.
The second condition was that I would have someone moderate my talk. This has happened to me before; it’s having someone there to ensure what they call impartiality.
One of the things college security told the student organisers is that they didn’t want to give the impression that Trinity was one-sided or antagonise the so-called Muslim students.
She alleged these questions were not raised with Islamist speakers:
I call them Islamist, not Muslim, because they are a political movement organising on university campuses.
An Islamist speaker was invited last month and he has explained why apostates should get the death penalty. He has explained why there is the punishment of stoning for adultery and so forth. None of these conditions were put on him.
The Islamist movement has been seen to be one and the same with Muslims - and that’s not the case. Muslims are not a homogenous group.
Ms Namazie said she is from a Muslim background, but stopped practising the religion several years ago.
Because of the conflation between Muslims and Islamists, if you criticise the Islamist movement, which is a far right political movement, it is often seen to be an attack on Muslims or an act of racism - and this is not the case.
For instance, if you criticise the English Defence League, you’re not attacking the English so it’s not the same thing.
Why is it when it comes to those of us who are victims of the Islamist views, there needs to be balanced and another point of view? How come the same requirement isn’t made of Islamist speakers?
Ms Namazie said she did not know why Trinity felt the need to moderate her talk when she is “not the one inciting hatred”.
Ms Namazie said she could not understand how college security viewed the talk as being potentially antagonistic to Muslims.
“Why is defending the right of people not to be killed seen as antagonistic and why is it seen as one-sided to defend human rights?”
She said she must be allowedly speak without restriction, and wants to come to Ireland to give her talk if she is allowed to do so without conditions attached.
A Trinity College spokeswoman could not immediately confirm on Sunday whether the event had been cancelled.
Ms Namazie is the spokesperson for One Law for All Campaign against Sharia Law in Britain and the Council of Ex-Muslims of Britain. “Since my talk at Trinity College Dublin was cancelled Monday, my next talks will be in Italy end of this month,” Ms Namazie previously tweeted.
In February, preacher Sheikh Kamal El Mekki delivered a lecture on the prophet Muhammad in an event co-hosted by the TCD Muslim Student Association (MSA) and the Irish branch of the AlMaghrib Institute.
Ms Namazie said she should be able to do the talk because conditions were not placed on Mr El Mekki’s talk.
No conditions were placed on his talk and security did not threaten to cancel the event nor inform the association that the speakers’ position on death for apostates would ‘antagonise’ ex-Muslim and Muslim students who do not support apostasy laws.
Ms Namazie wrote in the blog post:
This is beyond outrageous, given the social and political reality where apostasy from Islam is punishable by death in 11 countries and especially at a time when it has come to light that British Islamists are executing apostates for Isis after having been ‘radicalised’ in British universities.
Also, it does a disservice to the many Muslims who oppose Islamism and apostasy laws by conflating ‘Muslim’ students with Islamism or the religious-right.”