Iranian-born human rights activist Maryam Namazie has pulled out of a planned event at Trinity today – saying suggested changes to the format of her talk, put forward by the organisers, were unreasonable.
In a blog post on Friday, she said she had been informed that “college security (why security?) has claimed that the event would show the college is ‘one-sided’ and would be ‘antagonising’ to ‘Muslim students’”.
Namazie is a spokesperson for the Campaign against Sharia Law in Britain and the Council of Ex-Muslims of Britain, amongst other groups.
She claimed on her blog that after threats that her talk on ’Apostasy and the Rise of Islamism’ would be cancelled, an organiser later told her “they have decided to ‘allow’ the event to go ahead with the following conditions:
For “balance”, they require that a moderator host the event.”
However, she added:
I, however, will not be submitting to any conditions, particularly since such conditions are not usually placed on other speakers.
She said another speaker, who in the past had advocated the death penalty for apostasy, had been allowed to go ahead with his talk, without any pre-conditions.
In follow-up blog posts, Namazie said her talk to Trinity’s Society for International Affairs had been cancelled, and that her next scheduled events would be in Italy at the end of the month.
“Mark my words: I will speak at Trinity College Dublin without any conditions and am trying to find a society that will invite me and not cave into “security” demands.”
Namazie also published the text of emails between herself and one of the organisers of the event, on her public blog.
TheJournal.ie has contacted the TCD Society for International Affairs for comment.
A spokesperson for the college said in a statement that the student society would be “best placed to respond to queries in relation to its organisation and what was agreed with the speaker”.
The college had “no involvement” in these discussions, the statement said, adding:
“It is quite normal for society events to be restricted to members, particularly where there is a ‘high profile’ speaker involved.”