Maryam Namazie had been banned by the university’s students’ union over fears she may offend Muslim students
after 48 hours of intense public pressure, the union has backed down.
A petition had been set up calling for the decision to be overturned and high-profile academics such as Prof Brian Cox, Richard Dawkins, Ben Goldacre and Salman Rushdie had hit out at the initial ruling.
If curious about the precise details, the you will find that a statement has been published on the Warwick University Student’s Union website on Sunday evening …
“In the last few days we have all seen much debate, and considerable concern, expressed about an application to Warwick Students’ Union made by the Warwick Atheist, Secularist and Humanist Society, that an SU society host the campaigner and blogger Maryam Namazie as an external speaker.
“Warwick SU has a process for assessing any potential risks or legal issues associated with any external speaker, and it is now very clear to us that in this case that process has not been followed. Speaker invitations that may involve such issues are routinely considered by the SU President, who will also take advice from senior SU staff.
“This did not happen on this occasion. Neither the SU President, nor senior SU staff, were consulted as they should have been. This is a significant error for which there can be no excuse.
… 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.
So essentially what they are saying is that somebody simply decided “no” and did not refer that decision to anybody. I can only speculate, but I think I can guess the specific religious belief held by whoever made that decision.
If you signed the petition yesterday, then well done, because your collective signature has helped to make a real different here, thank you for doing that.