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Second University sounds alarm over segregation at Muslim student events.

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Second University sounds alarm over segregation at Muslim student events.

Post  Panda on Tue 16 Apr - 6:46

Second university sounds alarm over segregation at Muslim student

A Second university in a matter of weeks has launched an investigation into
claims that Muslim students are enforcing segregation between men and women at
public events.

Hamza Tzortzis, an Islamic
speaker who tours university

By John Bingham, Religious Affairs

7:25PM BST 15 Apr 2013

Leicester University voiced concern after photographs emerged showing
hand-written signs directing male and female students to sit in separate
sections at a public talk on the existence of God organised by the university’s
Islamic Society.

The meeting was addressed by Hamza Tzortzis, an Islamic speaker who tours
university campuses, who was at the centre of controversy over segregation at
University College London (UCL) last month.

UCL announced that it was banning his organisation, the Islamic Education
& Research Academy (IERA), from its campus after a debate he was addressing
descended into farce over the issue of segregation.

The latest row erupted after photographs were published on the internet
showing sheets of A4 paper attached to a door reading “brothers” and “sisters”
with arrows pointing in opposite directions at the entrance to the event in

A separate notice on the website of the University of Leicester Islamic
Society (ULISoc), makes clear that while its meetings are open to the public it
has a policy of “segregated seating for brothers and sisters at all co-attended

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The University said that it would investigate the signs shown in the
photographs, which are said to have been taken by a student, but added that it
was not aware of anyone being “forced” to sit separately.

Then, after being shown a link to the society’s website making clear that it
had a policy of segregated seating, it said it would ensure that no one was
required to sit separately unless they wished to.

A spokesman for Tzortzis’s group acknowledged that it was not uncommon for
the sexes to be informally segregated at events for Muslim students but insisted
any signs were just to “facilitate” rather than “enforce” separation.

He added that there was “not usually any sort of problem” if non-Muslims
attend events and ignore signs advising them to sit in different areas.

“It is a little bit of a storm in a teacup,” he said.

“It is down to a bit of a misunderstanding about the way that Islam is

He added that signs could be helpful to “accommodate” people who “want to sit
with their own gender”.

And Mr Tzortzis responded to criticism on Twitter, insisting that there had
been no "enforcement" but added: "This is neo-liberal extremism at its best.

"If women want to sit alone, let them."

Last month a debate organised by the IERA and addressed by Mr Tzortzis at UCL
almost had to be abandoned over the issue of segregation.

Professor Lawrence Krauss, a leading physicist and former adviser to Barack
Obama, was invited to debate the question of "Islam or Atheism: Which Makes More
Sense?" with Mr Tzortzis.

But he threatened to walk out when he discovered that men and women were
sitting in segregated blocs.

He was persuaded to stay only after organisers agreed to let men and women
sit together but then found himself being accused of intolerance by angry
members of the audience.

The professor later remarked that British people appeared too afraid to
offend “vocal and aggressive” elements.

A spokesman for Leicester University said: “The university will investigate
whether entrances to the hall for this event were segregated by the Society and
will ensure there is no recurrence of this.”

Dan Flatt of the university’s Students’ Union said: “The Students’ Union does
not believe in enforced segregation.

“We trust in our Societies ability to conduct their events in accordance with
the principles of the Union.”

No-one from the University of Leicester Islamic Society itself responded to
inquiries about the arrangement last night.

On its website the group advertises sporting sessions for men and women but
adds: “Please note: due to the relocation of sports facilities this year it has
unfortunately not been possible to book the Sports Hall for sisters' sports.”

This needs to be addressed NOW, "When in Rome do as the Romans do" applies and if these Students continue to dictate the Islamic Society should be banned by the Universitiy. It is another example of the way the Middle East is taking over the Country.

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