Maryam Namazie confronted by Islamists at Goldsmiths:
Students at Goldsmiths “disrupted” a controversial talk with human rights activist and broadcaster Maryam Namazie yesterday evening, with some audience members accused of issuing death threats.
Organised by Goldsmiths’ Atheist, Secularist and Humanist society, Namazie was speaking on the topic of ‘Apostasy, blasphemy and free expression in the age of ISIS’.
Namazie wrote after the event: “After my talk began, Isoc “brothers” started coming into the room, repeatedly banging the door, falling on the floor, heckling me, playing on their phones, shouting out, and creating a climate of intimidation in order to try and prevent me from speaking.
“I continued speaking as loudly as I could. They repeatedly walked back and forth in front of me. In the midst of my talk, one of the Isoc Islamists switched off my PowerPoint and left. The University security had to intervene and remain in the room as I continued my talk.
“Eventually the thug who had switched off my PowerPoint returned and continued his harassments. At this point, I stood my ground, screamed loudly and continued insisting that he be removed even when the security said he should stay because he was a student.”
A student, during yesterday’s lecture, moved to turn off the main screen when Namazie showed a cartoon from the series Jesus and Mo.
Prior to yesterday’s event, Goldsmiths’ Islamic Society (Isoc) released a statement saying that it “[expressed] deep concern regarding Goldsmiths Atheist, secularist and humanist society with renounced [sic] Islamophobe Maryam Namazi”.
The statement continued to read she “is known to hold very controversial views”, adding “we feel such an individual will violate our safe space”....
An email seen by London Student, sent by the president of Isoc to the president of the ASH society read: “As an Islamic society, we feel extremely uncomfortable by the fact that you have invited Maryam Namazie. As you very well probably know, she is renowned for being Islamophobic, and very controversial.
“Just a few examples of her Islamophobic statements, she labelled the niqab- a religious symbol for Muslim women, “a flag for far-right Islamism”. Also, she went onto tweet, they are ”body bags” for women. That is just 2 examples of how mindless she is, and presents her lack of understanding and knowledge about Islam.
“We feel having her present, will be a violation to our safe space, a policy which Goldsmiths SU adheres to strictly, and my society feels that all she will do is incite hatred and bigotry, at a very sensitive time for Muslims in the light of a huge rise in Islamophobic attacks.
“For this reason, we advise you to reconsider your event tomorrow. We will otherwise, take this to the Students Union, and present our case there. I however, out of courtesy, felt it would be better to speak to you first.”
Maryam Namazi, when asked if she could give her response to the talk, said: “Goldsmiths Isoc never made any formal complaint to the students’ union” arguing last night’s incidents were an “attempt at intimidating Atheist Secularist and Humanist organisers”.
She also told London Student: This very group which absurdly speaks of “safe spaces” has in the past invited Hamza Tzortzis of IERA which says beheading of apostates is painless and Moazem Begg of Cage Prisoners that advocates “defensive jihad”.
Goldsmiths Feminist Society, naturally, shared their solidarity.....with the Islamists.