New Zealand: Not funny, Middle-East students tell Engineering Society

UC-logo_web-465x365A group of Middle Eastern students say they were offended and isolated by a controversial Canterbury University club event that attracted nearly 100 complaints.

Some have joined more than 500 people in signing a petition “against racism and Islamophobia” in the Engineering Society (Ensoc) RoUndie 500. The event caused a stir with feminists last month because some cars and costumes poked fun at women and minority groups. Ensoc encouraged themes “the more inappropriate the better”.

One car was called “Taliband”, with musicians in Taliban dress with ammunition strapped around their waists, and another was the Gaza Strip-ers, featuring ladies in mini-skirt burqas and men without pants wearing teatowels on their heads.

Nine Egyptian, Palestinian and Syrian students last week posted a public letter on the Ensoc Facebook page saying “insensitivity and racism are not laughing matters”.

“The event not only offended us but also made us feel isolated…