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Saturday, March 16, 2013 

Gender segregation at a Muslim conference in London

Here's another example of women being forced to sit at the rear in a Muslim dominated meeting at college campuses:
A debate hosted by the Islamic Education and Research Academy ignited fire after attendees were required to separate by gender, with single women forced into seats in the very back rows.

The group has since been banned from holding any events on Britain’s leading University College-London campus, The Telegraph reports.

Panel participants said they were shocked by the segregation when they looked into the audience, and one — Professor Lawrence Krauss, a prominent physicist and atheist who served on President Obama’s science committee in 2008 — threatened to walk out unless the seating arrangement mandate was relaxed, and men and women could sit together, The Telegraph says.

He also suggested that Brits were cowed to comply with Islam standards.
And how! Here's the UK Telegraph report:
The professor, a leading physicist and prominent atheist, threatened to walk out unless organisers agreed to let men and women sit together, which was eventually agreed - but was then astonished to find himself being accused of intolerance by angry members of the audience.

He said there had been no such problems when he recently took part in a similar debate in Australia. [...]

He said: "People are not only afraid to offend, but afraid to offend a vocal and aggressive group of people.

"There is a segment of the Islamic community that is very vocal about this."

The professor said: "I think the notion that these cultural norms should be carried out within a broader society that not only doesn't share them but that is free and open is a very serious problem."
You can say that again. David Aaronovich says that pandering to this kind of religious insanity can only end up harming us:
This is what psychoanalysts call "violent innocence". I recall it from the days when South African apartheid was still a matter of debate for some people. It is hard to recall them now, but you could discover apologists for "separate development" on any letters page and in even some editorials. It's natural. White and blacks prefer to live separately. This big country for the whites, and these lovely little Bantustans for the childlike blacks. And you always find someone suitably black to say yes indeed, that was what they wanted, thank you very much.

And it never means separate but equal. It always means the white or the man is the boss. That's why in orthodox synagogues the women (including the grandmas) are upstairs and the men (including the adolescents) are in the stalls. That's why at UCL the women-only area was towards the back. That's why at other Islamic events held in British colleges the men ask questions directly and the women have to write them down on a piece of paper.

That's why, hilariously, on its own website iERA lists its speakers for debates, showing photos of the men and blank shapes standing in for the faces of the women. And doesn't anyone who thinks about it for more than a nanosecond realise that the obedient "modesty" of some women - even if voluntary - is used by the big beards as a way of coercing others to conform?
Food for thought, but there's one problem with his citation of Orthodox synagogues: he doesn't differentiate properly between them and Haredis, who in recent times have taken gender separation to extremes, all stuff that I took to blogging about, and simpler Orthodox, who only see this as important during prayer time - outside of that, nobody believes in gender separation; they just don't think the sexes should mix during prayer time/religious gatherings. This doesn't mean his argument doesn't have legitimate points, but if he'd just research more, he'd find that modern Orthodox are hardly like what he's suggesting.

Under Islam, this kind of mindset is prevalent at every opportunity, and with the kind of vile elements found in the Religion of Peace, that's why it's much more of a concern.

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