Warwick University Student Union: The Islamists Incite Hatred, Not Us

In the wake of her battle with Warwick University Maryam Namazie is scathing of both the racist Left and the university's Student Union. Maryam Namazie blogs @ Nothing Is Sacred.

I was invited to speak at Warwick University by the Warwick Atheists, Secularists and Humanists’ Society on 28 October 2015. The University Student Union has declined the request for me to speak saying the following:

This is because after researching both her 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.

There a number of articles written both by the speaker and by others about the speaker that indicate that she is highly inflammatory, and could incite hatred on campus. This is in contravention of our external speaker policy:

The President (or equivalent) of the group organising any event is responsible for the activities that take place within their events. All speakers will be made aware of their responsibility to abide by the law, the University and the Union’s various policies, including that they:

must not incite hatred, violence or call for the breaking of the law
are not permitted to encourage, glorify or promote any acts of terrorism including individuals, groups or organisations that support such acts
must not spread hatred and intolerance in the community and thus aid in disrupting social and community harmony
must seek to avoid insulting other faiths or groups, within a framework of positive debate and challenge
are not permitted to raise or gather funds for any external organisation or cause without express permission of the trustees.

In addition to this, there are concerns that if we place conditions on her attendance (such as making it a member only event and having security in attendance, asking for a transcript of what she intends to say, recording the speech) she will refuse to abide by these terms as she did for
Trinity College Dublin.

The Atheist group is of course appealing their decision, however, it’s important for me to comment briefly on the Student Union’s position. I will be writing a more detailed letter to the university to formally complain about the Student Union accusations against me after taking legal advice.

For now, though, suffice it to say that criticising religion and the religious-Right is not incitement of hatred against people. If anything, it’s the religious-Right, namely Islamism in this case, which incites hatred against those of us who dare to leave Islam and criticise it.

The Student Union seems to lack an understanding of the difference between criticising religion, an idea, or a far-Right political movement on the one hand and attacking and inciting hate against people on the other. Inciting hatred is what the Islamists do; I and my organisation challenge them and defend the rights of ex-Muslims, Muslims and others to dissent.

The Student Union position is of course nothing new. It is the predominant post-modernist “Left” point of view that conflates Islam, Muslims and Islamists, homogenises the “Muslim community”, thinks believers are one and the same as the religious-Right and sides with the Islamist narrative against its many dissenters.

It is the “anti-colonialist” perspective which always unsurprisingly coincides with that of the ruling classes in the so-called “Islamic world” or “Muslim communities” – an understanding that is Eurocentric, patronising and racist.

This type of politics denies universalism, sees rights as ‘western,’ justifies the suppression of women’s rights, freedoms and equality under the guise of respect for other ‘cultures’ imputing on innumerable people the most reactionary elements of culture and religion, which is that of the religious-Right. In this type of politics, the oppressor is victim, the oppressed are perpetrators of “hatred”, and any criticism is racist.

These sort of Lefties have one set of progressive politics for themselves – they want gay rights, equality for women and the right to criticise the pope and the Christian-Right, and another for us.

We are not worthy of the same rights and freedoms.

We can only make demands within the confines of religion and Islam. If we dissent, if we demand equality, if we demand to live our lives without the labels of “kafir” or “immoral” – and all that which they imply, then we are inciting hatred…

It’s a topsy turvy world when “progressives” who are meant to be on our side take a stand with our oppressors and try to deny us the only tool we have to resist – our freedom of expression.

Well, it’s not up for sale or subject to the conditions of a Student Union too enamoured with Islamism to take a principled position.

By the way Warwick, in case you’re wondering, I will speak at your university – as I will be soon at Trinity College Dublin despite my initial talk being cancelled by organisers.


  1. Thanks for publishing this and others like it AM, another pathetic intellectual surrender. Anyone that pays attention to these sort of things will see how people that speak out on it have their liberty instantly curtailed. There is no equivalence the other way (e.g. arrested for saying how much everyone should submit to Islam or face death) , yet useful idiots will try to position Islamophobia as the predominant Western trend. This ground has been abandoned by electoral politics presently, the growth parties of the future will be the ones that address these concerns in unambiguous terms.

  2. Good piece Maryam which tells us something of how a large section of the radical left lost its bearings when addressing the issue of what Tony Cliff a (doyen of SWP intellectual life)) described as clerical fascism.

  3. DaithiD,

    I have come to share the view of Brendan O'Neill that terms like Islamophobia or Homophobia are simply pathologising dissent. In some sense just like 'harmful to the peace process". It is a wonder they have not accused us of peaceophobia yet.

  4. AM, yes the pathologising dissent concept was something I learned from this site, a wonderful term. Its the Left where these ‘phobias’ come from, which makes no sense as they analyse the hatred in terms of class. Surely emphasising the differences between citizens as a reason for their supposed persecution, whether its this , or ‘Black Lives Matters’ just perpetuates the divide and conquer strategy they insist is at play? I really obect to Islamophobia as defined by CAIR “Islamophobia is close-minded prejudice against or hatred of Islam and Muslims” , I don’t have a close minded prejudice, I cultivated and nurtured it after approaching the subject with a positive bias. In any case, why should my objection to an ideology make me a pariah, especially by people who have likely never read any Islamic doctrine? If I think any person that mutilates a mans eyes and removes his tongue, then sets that man to roam the desert in heat until he dies is unfit to be a spiritual figure (Mohammed did this incase you didn’t know), I should , at least, be afforded the opportunity to be wrong.

  5. DaithiD,

    I think it is important to state that Black lives matter given that some seem to think they don't. It is a push back against a racism which holds that people can be targeted because they are black.

    I pay no attention to CAIR on Islamophobia. Theirs is very much an ideological construct designed to disempower artists and activists while suffocating an intellectually porous environment. Robert Spencer destroys the argument made by CAIR and I think the Left should be doing it rather than allowing the Right to present itself as a bastion against irrationalism.

  6. AM, Robert Spencer is scholar whom I adore,and unto Islam as you are unto Republicanism : Either its Jihadi John or its Christ depending on ones perspective!

  7. I believe his right to critique must be vigorously defended.

  8. There a number of articles written ... by the speaker ... that indicate that she is highly inflammatory, and could incite hatred on campus."

    Sounds defamatory to me.

    "There a number of articles written ... by others about the speaker that indicate that she is highly inflammatory, and could incite hatred on campus."

    Sounds even more defamatory to me.

    "All speakers will be made aware of their responsibility to abide by the law"

    Implies she does not abide by the law -also defamatory.

    "In addition to this, there are concerns that if we place conditions on her attendance ...she will refuse to abide by these terms"

    As we can see the decision makers prefer to jump to conclusions rather than speaking directly with the person involved.