LSESU Atheist, Secularist and Humanist Society public debate
Date: Tuesday 15 October 2013
Time: 6.30-8pm
Venue: CLM4.02, Clement House
Speakers: Akeela Ahmed, Edie Friedman, Taj Hargey, Maryam Namazie
Chair: Professor Chetan Bhatt

Is the Niqab (face veil) a human right, a security concern or a symbol of oppression? Given the most recent events, this debate will shed some light on this controversial topic.

Akeela Ahmed is the Director of the Christian Muslim Forum.
Edie Friedman is the founder and Executive Director of the Jewish Council for Racial Equality.
Taj Hargey is the Director of the Muslim Educational Centre of Oxford.
Maryam Namazie is the founder and spokesperson for One Law for All and the Council of Ex-Muslims of Britain.

This event is free and open to all with no ticket required. Entry is on a first come, first served basis. For any queries email or call 074 2872 0599.



  1. “Is the niqab a human right, security concern or symbol of oppression?”

    Could it perhaps be all three of those things and more?

  2. This would certainly be an interesting discussion, especially on the issue of security. I hope you will be able to make some commentary on it after.

    The first thing that pops in my head every time I see a woman in something like a niquab is, “If the males went about wearing this sort of thing as well then I might believe it’s not a symbol of gender-based oppression.”

    If a couple is walking down the street with both the man and women wearing kaffiyehs then I would likely consider it non-oppressive. Men however, tend to go about wearing snazzy suits while telling women how they need to cover themselves head-to-toe for various inane reasons. And that can be anywhere such as men in shorts and short-sleeved shirts or singlets in Western nations insisting that women should “cover up” for their own safety.

  3. Comtessa, the victims of this oppression would not be helped by “staying the fuck home”. Not to mention that home for a lot of these victims is the country they were born in – the UK.

    I agree with you that sharia and associated discrimination is against human rights – and that is why it does not belong in “backward countries”. Abuses of human rights do not “belong” anywhere.

    Our fight should be against religious schools, against ghettoisation, against the forces that make it easy for islamists to oppress ordinary muslims. We have to stop giving oppressive islamist “community leaders” the apparent respectability and representative status that lets them seem to speak for all muslims, including their own victims.

  4. To me it is a blatant symbol of oppression to which a lot of wowen living in the Western World are willing to comply and then try to impose it to us because their men are lookiing at us..We have a choice here in the west to dress the way we want. The sharia belongs in the backward countries and should be deemed against all human rights! The UK and other countries should enforce the Law of the Land which should always prevail and no other Law should be allowed on British soil..You want to enforce the Sharia Law then go back to your backward country! The door is wide open but don’t expect any other Legal System but the one of the Land! Why did you leave your homeland in the first place if things were so much better and moral in your country..Do us a favour: STAY THE FUCK HOME!

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