by David J. Rusin
Gender segregation at UK universities
A briefing by Student Rights documents 46 events on UK campuses from March 2012 to March 2013 that “either explicitly promoted segregation by gender, or implied that this would be the case.” The Commentator reports: “The events in question have been primarily hosted by Islamic societies on campuses, who often use separate telephone numbers for men and women to book their attendance.” Some groups advertise specific events as segregated; others have general policies to that effect. Student Rights concludes that these “are not ‘isolated incidents’ but rather form a part of a wider, discriminatory trend on UK university campuses.”
A March 9 debate at University College London (UCL) ignited the issue. The Islamic Education and Research Academy held “Islam or Atheism: Which Makes More Sense?” It pitted lecturer Hamza Tzortzis, who has said that “we as Muslims reject … even the idea of freedom,” against physicist Lawrence Krauss. When Krauss threatened to leave once he realized that segregation was being enforced, the organizers relented. “You are in a public arena and not in a mosque, not in a private event,” he told a woman who objected to mixing. He added: “It is the obligation of people who don’t feel comfortable with that to decide how they are going to mesh with broader society, not the other way around.” UCL has banned the group from taking part in future events.
|Left: A cell phone captured Lawrence Krauss (seated) warning, “Quit the segregation or I’m out of here.” Right: These signs were posted at a University of Leicester event in March.|
Muslims fill Christian schools, accommodations follow
Christian schools with large Muslim student populations frequently dial back the Christianity, a truth demonstrated by the state-funded Slough and Eton Church of England Business and Enterprise College, where three-quarters of the pupils, aged 11 to 19, are Muslim. “Hymns have been dropped from assemblies at a Church of England school which has also introduced separate prayer rooms for girls and boys,” the Daily Mail explains in a summary of a story published by the Sunday Times. The assemblies “are not based specifically on the Bible”; they merely “make reference to it alongside other religious texts.” Unsurprisingly, the meat is halal as well.
The article notes that many Church of England schools are more than 80 percent Muslim. Catholic schools face similar challenges. The Telegraphreported in 2009: “At English Martyrs in Sparkhill, Birmingham, just 36 of the 410 pupils are Catholic while the vast majority are Muslim. At Sacred Heart Primary in Salford, there are only seven Catholic pupils,” and “an inspection by the diocese in 2007 said the situation was ‘seriously affecting the school’s ability to provide a traditional Catholic education.’” According to the piece, Catholic authorities still recommended “multi-faith prayer rooms” and facilities for ritual cleansing in church-run schools….