Islamists everywhere are waging a war against free speech and free thought and scored two victories in the UK this week.
Update: Since this story was first published, Warwick University Student Union have overturned their decision and Maryam Namazie will be permitted to speak.
Namazie is the spokesperson for the One Law for All campaign against sharia law in the UK and also for the Council of Ex-Muslims. She was born in Tehran, Iran and has campaigned against Islamism for many years after fleeing Iran and leaving Islam.
She had been scheduled to address the Warwick University Student Union in October after being invited by the Warwick Atheists Secularists and Humanists Society.
Yet the Union decided to cancel her talk on the grounds it “could incite hatred on campus.”
“The initial decision was made for the right of Muslim students not to feel intimidated or discriminated against on their university campus” said Warwick University Student Union President Isaac Leigh, “rather than in the interest of suppressing free speech.”
Namazie has received up upsurge of support from secularists, anti-Islamist campaigners and free speech campaigners.
The President of Warwick Atheists Secularists and Humanists Society started a petition on Change.org to demand that Warwick allow Namazie to speak.
You can sign the petition here.
“They’re basically labelling me a racist and an extremist for speaking out against Islam and Islamism,” Namazie said, slamming those who rescinded her invitation.
“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.”
At the same time, a free speech exhibition in London this week also turned away an anti-Islamist exhibition, this time over security fears.
‘Isis Threaten Sylvania’ is a series of seven tableaux showing the terrorist group MICE-IS attacking the fictional world of Sylvania, inhabited by cuddly animals that are sold as toys.
The organizers of the Passion for Freedom Exhibition cancelled the exhibit over security fears. Police demanded £36,000 for security over the six days of the exhibit, which the gallery was unable to pay.
They were also unwilling or unable to go ahead without security, and therefore pulled the exhibit.
Separately, these cases are troubling. Together they indicate a fear leading to a deference to the interests of Islamists in the UK.
This is particularly galling in the light of the hit list of bloggers and free thinkers just published by a terrorist group from Bangladesh.
Unless people are willing to stand up for free speech, Islamists will continue to push for more and more concessions, eroding the West’s hard won freedoms.