NON-LAAG EVENT (LSE):Niqab-human right, security concern or symbol of oppression

 UPDATE 12/10 : FOLLOWING the harrassment and intimidation of students (that's a link to story and the petition) by LSESU last week, we urge all LAAGers who can make it to come along to this event. Wear Jesus and MO t-shirts if you have them!

This is a NON-LAAG event ( not organised by this group, but by a third party - here it's LSE)

(LAAG is about promotion and celebration of 'Reason' as a whole (with atheism as the biggest, but not only topic). We list those external events that may be of interest to LAAGers, and to support the whole 'reason' community of organisations and groups but we cannot guarantee their content, though generally the organisations we list are known and trusted)

ABOUT THIS EVENT:

Maryam Namazie will be speaking at a debate on the niqab : human right, security concern or symbol of oppression?

Tuesday 15 October 2013. Chetan Bhatt, Director of the LSE Centre for the Study of Human Rights, will chair the debate. It starts at 6.30pm in CLM 4.02 Clement House at 99 Aldwych, WC2B 4JF. Registration at door.

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  • Usman

    Great to meet some of you yesterday. I have Dr Hargey 's email if anyone wants it. I met him a couple of years back when he performed a nicah ceremony for a Muslim female friend of mine marrying a non - Muslim guy (which most imams won't). He found out I worked in finance and roped me into writing a financial plan for an interfaith school he was attempting to set up. Turnaround time for the plan - 2 days! It was a shambles. Also, there's a YouTube clip of him debating the niqab with Salma Yuqoob - worth a look as he doesn't fare that well in my opinion, and even implies that he's not for an outright ban.

    1 · October 16, 2013

    • Georgi L.

      It would be good to get him along as a speaker I reckon, I found him very entertaining but also I'd love to be able to quiz him about his faith. Whenever we've tried talking to Muslims at Speakers' corner, they don't want to do anything other than shout and deflect from answering questions, but I think we might have a chance of getting some proper discussion with Taj Hargey. We can't get him in till middle of next year as our slots are booked up, but yes Usman, do please send me his email. Thanks!

      October 17, 2013

    • Usman

      Agreed - he was hilarious! Would certainly be interesting to hear him defend various parts of the Quran. Details on the way....

      October 17, 2013

  • Georgi L.

    Maryam was her usual excellent self. The surprise was a muslim Iman who was BRILLIANT! Arguing against the face mask ( he kept insisting we not say veil as that sounds too nice!). He was a breath of fresh air, great sense of humour, really pro equality ... one just wonders why/how he is religious at all! But 1/ the pro niqab speaker didn't show ( wonder why?!)2/ the other pro niqab speaker was a white jewish lady that was the usual apologist type but really unable to make a case or answer questions. Just a bit wet, waste of time 3/ they left only 10 mins for questions. So worth it to see the Iman, Dr Taj someone - will have to look it up, but could have seen him on youtube as there was virtually no chance for debate or interaction. NO women in face masks in the audience, or even any pro-mask men...and I was so looking forward to a debate!

    October 15, 2013

    • Brian

      What a shame the head of your university´s islamic group lady did not turn up all burka erd up I would have been good to see the imam argue with her.

      1 · October 16, 2013

    • Georgi L.

      I know Brian, that's what I was waiting for - and I suspect that's what the audience wanted. Good to see in one way though that the entire audience (100 people or so) were all on the side on banning the burqa. At least, it seemed that way as no one spoke up against a ban.

      October 16, 2013

  • Valentin B.

    Such a shame that I didn't find you guys... I ended up in another LSE place in which they were debating: "Health, wealth and the origins of inequality" which was held also in Clement House on Aldwych Street. It was interesting anyway. I'm very curious what happened in the niqab debate...

    October 15, 2013

    • Georgi L.

      Don't you have my number Valentin?

      October 15, 2013

    • Valentin B.

      I do have your number, but no credit on my two phones. Hmm... 4th floor... and I was thinking to go up on the stairs to see what's up there.

      October 16, 2013

  • Roger

    An interesting evening with speakers ranging from merely good(!) to excellent. Some slightly dubious "questions" from the floor. It wasn't really a debate as the pro-niqab speaker didn't attend with no reason given - is one to draw the conclusion that the wearing of a "face-mask" is not debatable?

    1 · October 15, 2013

  • Brian

    Soooooooooo sorry i missed it
    Do tell how it went...........

    October 15, 2013

  • Georgi L.

    I think most of us know or will at least recognise each other, except for Usman possibly or any other newer members who may come along. I will be in the queue by or not long after 17:30 and will have my LAAG badge on so come along and find me if you want (will try and sneak you into the queue so we can all be together). Regulars should all have the LAAG outside events mobile number already but if anyone wants it, just email me and I'll send it straight away.

    October 15, 2013

    • Georgi L.

      White coat for me

      October 15, 2013

    • Usman

      Thanks Georgi, I'll email you now for the phone number. I should be there by 17:45 and have no shame when it comes to queue jumping!

      October 15, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Damn - I am not going to be able to ditch work today after all, so I will miss this. Hope it's an interesting debate and one that is not constrained by PC!

    October 15, 2013

  • Roger

    It's just possible I will have a rehearsal to attend late that afternoon, which might make it difficult to get there by 6.30, but seeking clarification.

    October 14, 2013

    • Roger

      Thanks! Will know by Tuesday morning at the latest.

      October 14, 2013

    • Roger

      So far the rehearsal doesn't seem to be happening (scary Sunday Assembly this weekend, then) so unless I post to the contrary I should be there in good time. I may well bring a snood - at least you have the option of just letting it hang around your neck...

      1 · October 15, 2013

  • Andre

    Why don't we all wear balaclavas?

    1 · October 14, 2013

    • Georgi L.

      It might look like we're ridiculing them though. Personally I think we'd do better to stick with wiping the floor with their arguments rather than distracting the issue with balaclavas. But up to you - and in a way I can see your point since there is also the subtext of the LSESU banning Jesus and Mo T-shirts last week. Are they going to allow nicabs but tell us that we can't wear balaclavas? Maybe I will bring a snood afterall. My balaclava's and Nicab are in the wash ...both can get really dirty when you hastily climb out of windows in the dark into who knows what.

      October 14, 2013

    • Andre

      If I were 25 years younger I think I would probably wear a balaclava and would try to get a whole group to do so as well. It would be a nice way of making a valid point. I wouldn't do it now, though.

      October 14, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Copied from http://www.iisna.com/articles/pamphlets/the-burqa-and-niqab-uncovering-the-facts/

    "Niqab is a very liberating and empowering experience. It allows me to realise my goals by having a career and going to school without worrying about the prying eyes of men. It forces people not to judge me based on my appearance, but on my thoughts and character."

    I note that the woman quoted is judging men and ascribing to them a complete lack of ability to treat a woman other than on their appearance. This seems a totally negative basis on which to make a decision on how to dress. Her arguments about having a career and going to school are not relevant in the UK, which is a free society and in which the law provides protection for women in the form of equality in employment laws. I acknowledge that there is still sexism in society but it is not equivalent to that which would be found in many (all?) Muslim societies. She does not need to cover up in order to participate in UK society.

    2 · October 14, 2013

    • Andre

      They recognise the challenge and the policy they adopt is capitulation. They inadvertently let down those who are prepared to fight for a world with more respect for women. But, yes, she assumes a level of disrespect towards women which is perhaps more common in Islamic societies, where raping a virgin means she's now ripe for death by stoning.

      1 · October 14, 2013

    • Roger

      If wearing a Niqab is so empowering, why don't European women (and men of all origins) wear them? Are non-Muslims allowed to wear the Niqab in this lecture, I wonder, or would we get excluded for security reasons?

      October 14, 2013

  • Richard F

    I'm hoping that they have a proper debate about the merit/harm of the Burqa and whether it should be on the list of things that we already find unacceptable in the public domain. I hope they don't try and excuse it by using the 'liberty' argument. I get right p*%@ed off when they do that. As I've said before (sorry for repeating myself), liberty doesn't mean a free for all. There's a responsibility within liberty to find a balance between the rights of the individual and the right of others. Why should Muslims be exempt from that responsibility?

    2 · October 11, 2013

    • Andre

      I've had a very busy schedule recently and have been reading my emails very cursorily. There was one about an LSE atheist society. Is that something you are doing? I'm willing to provide support.

      October 12, 2013

    • Andre

      sorry, I've just gone through the comments here and saw one with the name of the person

      October 12, 2013

  • Valentin B.

    GO! GO! GO ATHEISTS! GO!

    1 · October 11, 2013

  • Cloe

    I've made this an event for the South Bank Atheists to come to, so let's hope we have a whole army!

    2 · October 11, 2013

    • Georgi L.

      Excellent. I hope Jay Stoll, president of LSESU is there. Maybe he won't be quite so arrogant in person when faced with outside atheists, as he has been through this thing so far. Or will he even have the courage to come I wonder.

      October 11, 2013

  • Fiona W.

    Very sorry to miss this - I have a rehearsal that night. Do get there early, girls, in case they try to make you sit at the back!

    3 · October 11, 2013

17 went

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