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UK: Update on secular speaker being barred from speaking in universities

Monday 28 September 2015, by siawi3

Source: siawi, 28.09.2015

As more concerned academics, scholars and secularists join us in support, we publish below the updated list of signatories :

Open letter to UK universities authorities in protest about secular speaker being barred from speaking in Warwick university,

[(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, France (retired).
Prof. Nira Yuval-Davis, School of Social Sciences, University of East London, UK
Dr. Neshat Quaiser, Associate Professor Department of Sociology Jamia Millia Islamia, Central University, New Delhi, India
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, Canada
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, 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, Bangladesh
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 and North Africa, UK
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 and Mathematics Forman Christian College-University Lahore, Pakistan
Nadia El Fani, Tunisian Filmmaker, France
Maggie Hall, Chair of Brighton Secular Humanists, UK
Steven Pinker, Johnstone Family Professor, Dept. of Psychology, Harvard University, USA
Katha Pollitt, Writer, USA
Dilara Gürcü, Feminst Activist from Turkey and Founder of Erktolia, France
Ophelia Benson, Blogger and Writer, US

See: siawi article 9755