Sunday, September 27, 2015

Warwick Student's Union apologises, Maryam Namazie to speak on campus

On Sunday at 10 pm the Students Union published an apology on its website. Ms Namazie had earlier been debarred from speaking at a planned event - an act of censorship that was protested against by intellectuals across the world (see letter below). She will now be allowed to speak in Warwick University and "Warwick SU will issue an unequivocal apology to Maryam Namazie for this egregious and highly regrettable error."

Extract: We want to assure everyone of Warwick Students’ Union’s continued commitment to free speech. We also want to take this opportunity to apologise to everyone who has expressed concern, or disappointment, or who has been hurt by this significant error and, as we said above, we will be issuing a full and unequivocal apology to Maryam Namazie... Read Letter of apology:

Open Letter of Protest On cancelling speaking invitations of secularists in UK universities
Source: siawi, 26.09.2015

In support of academic freedom: On Warwick University Student Union’s decision to bar Maryam Namazie from speaking

We, the undersigned,
Express concern regarding the University Student Union’s barring of Maryam Namazie from speaking at Warwick University on October 28, 2015. Ms Namazie had been invited by the Warwick Atheists, Secularists and Humanists’ Society.

Note with equal concern the growing number of similar incidents in UK universities, in which religious groups are granted the right to disseminate their ideas within universities (and their practices, including when those break both the law of the land and university rules on gender equality) regardless of the potential ‘risks’ of generating incidents, while other groups are discriminated against, as is the case now.

Urge University authorities to ensure that freedom of speech and academic freedom applies to all, and are not being curbed selectively.

Marieme Helie Lucas, Sociology Department, Algiers University, Algeria (retired faculty member)
Dr Fatou Sow, Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, University Paris Diderot
Prof. Nira Yuval-Davis, School of Social Sciences, University of East London, UK
Dr. Neshat Quaiser, Associate Professor Department of Sociology Jamia Millia Islamia New Delhi
Harsh Kapoor, founder, South Asia Citizens Web (
Dr Anissa Helie, Associate Professor, John Jay College of Criminal Justice, New York, USA.
Ensaf Haidar, President Of Raif Badawi Foundation
Faisal Saeed Al-Mutar, Iraqi founder of the Global Secular Humanist Movement
Prof Lynn Freedman, Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health, New York, USA
Dipak Dholakia, People’s Alliance for Democracy and Secularism, India
Prof. Charlotte Bunch, Board of Governors, Distinguished Professor in Women’s and Gender Studies, Faculty of Arts and Sciences, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey. USA
Mukul Mangalik, Associate Professor of History, Ramjas College, University of Delhi, India.
Prakash Upadhyaya, research scholar, University Grants Commission, India
Dilip Simeon, Historian and Writer, Delhi, India
Ansar Ahmed Ullah, International Forum for Secular Bangladesh, UK
Edip Yuksel, J.D. Author, co-founder of Muslims for Peace, Justice and Progress, US
Dr. Elham Manea, Associate Professor, Zurich University, Switzerland
Hasan Mahmud, Member of Advisory Board, World Muslim Congress and General Secretary, Muslims Facing Tomorrow, Canada
Kenan Malik, Writer, UK
Lisa-Marie Taylor, Chair, Feminism in London, UK
Terry Sanderson, President, National Secular Society, UK
Taslima Nasrin, Author
Sultana Kamal, Bangladeshi Lawyer and Human Rights Activist, Bangladesh
Sukhwant Dhaliwal, University of Bedfordshire and Author, UK
Sue Cox, Survivors Voice Europe, UK
Shahla Daneshfar, Coordinator of Workers Solidarity Network of the Middle East & North Africa
Fariborz Pooya, Host of Bread and Roses, UK
Shaheen Hashmat, Writer, UK
Sara Khan, Director of Inspire, UK
Sara Hossain, Advocate, Supreme Court of Bangladesh
Sanal Edamaruku, Author and Founder of Rationalist International, Finland
Dr Rumy Hasan, SPRU, University of Sussex, UK
Dr Rumana Hashem,  School of Social Sciences, University of East London, UK
Roy Brown, International Representative, IHEU, UK
Robyn E. Blumner, President & CEO, Richard Dawkins Foundation for Reason & Science, US
Richard Dawkins, Scientist and Author, UK
Rahila Gupta, Writer and Journalist, UK
Raheel Raza, President, Council for Muslims Facing Tomorrow, Canada
Peter Tatchell, Director, Peter Tatchell Foundation, UK
Pervez Hoodbhoy, Distinguished Professor of Physics & Mathematics Forman College, Lahore
Nadia El Fani, Tunisian Filmmaker, France
Maggie Hall, Chair of Brighton Secular Humanists, UK

See also