‘If Islamists can speak on campus, why can’t I?’

This week, a crucial blow was struck for freedom of speech on British campuses. Maryam Namazie, Iranian-born secularist campaigner and spokesperson of Ex-Muslims of Britain, took on the campus censors and won, providing a bit of hope for students across the land trying desperately to debate, discuss and broaden their minds under the cosh of students’ union bureaucracy.

Namazie was due to give a talk at an event organised by the Warwick Atheist, Secularist and Humanist Society (WASH) on Monday. But, earlier this month, the student organisers received an email from Warwick SU informing them that their external-speaker application had been denied. ‘After researching both her and her organisation, a number of flags have been raised’, read the message. ‘There are a number of articles written both by the speaker and by others about the speaker that indicate that she is highly inflammatory, and could incite hatred on campus. This is in contravention of our external-speaker policy.’