Atheism is the new hate speech


Activist Maryam Namazie was due to make a presentation to Warwick University’s Student Union on October 28, having been by the Warwick Atheists, Secularists and Humanists (WASH) group

Don’t believe in God? Then you are offensive to Muslims. Atheists have unwittingly joined the rather large club of groups of people that are offensive to Muslims. It seems that simply not believing in a higher being is offensive and in the case of?Maryam Namazie ‘ highly inflammatory ‘.

The outrageously offensive topics she was intending to discuss in the mistaken belief that there is this thing called Freedom of Speech inside Universities were?apostasy, blasphemy and nudity in the age of ISIS.

According to The Independent, the union told the group: ‘After researching both [Ms Namazie] and her organisation, a number of flags have been raised. We have a duty of care to conduct a risk assessment for each speaker who wishes to come to campus’.

Articles written by Ms Namazie indicated she was ‘highly inflammatory’ and ‘could incite hatred on campus’, according to the union.

Ms Namazie fled Iran with her family in 1980 following the revolution.

She told the newspaper that she was going to be speaking about apostasy, blasphemy and nudity in the age of ISIS.

She was stunned that her talk was cancelled by the student union.

‘They’re basically labelling me a racist and an extremist for speaking out against Islam and Islamism,’ she said.

‘If people like me who fled an Islamist regime can’t speak out about my opposition to the far-right Islamic movement, if I can’t criticise Islam, that leaves very [few] options for me as a dissenter because the only thing I have is my freedom of expression.

If anyone is inciting hatred, it’s the Islamists who are threatening people like me just for deciding we want to be atheist, just because we don’t want to toe the line.’

‘To try to censor me, does a double disservice to those people who are dissenting by denying people like me the only opportunity we have to speak.’

WASH’s president, Benjamin David, appealed the decision.

He said: ‘The infringement of free-speech is becoming insidiously ubiquitous, and many universities, including Warwick, are circumventing the freedom of speech in pursuit of inoffensive, sanitary narratives.’

…Isaac Leigh, president of Warwick Student Union said: ‘The initial decision was made for the right of Muslim students not to feel intimidated or discriminated against on their university campus, rather than in the interest of suppressing free speech.’