Archive for December, 2013

Gendre Segregation: Labelling Oppoents As Islamophobes Doesn’t Help Anyone

December 17, 2013

There has been much controversy over alleged gender segregation at a recent debate held at a university that was hosted by an Islamic organisation.

Those that opposed the segregation of men and women argued that there should be equality and no segregation along any lines be it racial or sexual. There have been those who have argued that there was no enforced segregation at the meeting and that separate seating for men and women was entirely voluntary and there was mixed seating for those male and female attendees who wished to sit together.

Now right-wing Islamophobes have been quick to scream about how this represent the “Islamofication” of Western society and how Muslim extremists are being given the freedom to impose their beliefs and culture on everyone else. The right-wing tabloid press have made a fair fuss about this and any reasoned debate about the rights and wrongs of separate seating for men and women at university debates has been lost in a tirade of anti-Muslim hysteria.

However many of those protesting against the separate seating along gender lines are not Islamophobic. But there have been those who’ve labelled anyone who protested as Islamophobes. Such as Bob Pitt of Islamophobia Watch…

Pitt attempts to expose the truth about this meeting and claims gender division was not enforced. However he is quick to label anyone who protested and objected as Islamophobes and accuse them of whipping up “hysteria”. Of course there was some hysteria such as those comparing the separate seating of men and women to racial apartheid but not all opponents buys into that rubbish.

Bob Pitt is very good at exposing and ripping apart the Islamophobia of the right-wing media and of many politicians but he is too quick to label anyone including those on the Left and liberals who protest against repressive practices within Islam as Islamophobic, racist and as appeasers of the fascist anti-Muslim far-right.

There may have been hysteria and a level of anti-Muslim bigotry from some objecting to separate seating for men and women at this debate (mainly the right-wing media) but to accuse left-wing protesters and progressives of that anti-Muslim bigotry is unfair, a smear and does not help anyone or free debate about the issue.

Instead it just attempts to silence and attempts to dismiss those who have an opposing viewpoint as racist or bigoted towards Muslims. That’s not debate that’s censorship.