The LSESU Atheist Secularist and Humanist society is shocked to hear that a Muslim student has been harassed by members of the LSE community. We extend our solidarity to the Muslim community and anyone that is harassed or targeted because of their beliefs or lack thereof. Our fellow Muslim student had every right to express his views and beliefs and should not have been harassed or targeted for them.
We firmly reject the allegation that actions of our members have “sought to marginalise” anyone, have caused “harm to the welfare of Muslim students” or constituted a “targeted campaign”. Although we reserve the right to criticise religious ideas, as humanists we will always oppose any targeted campaign against any community. There have been no indications that members of our society have been involved in this horrible incident in any manner. If any such involvement was brought to our attention, we would raise a formal complaint with the SU ourselves. Just as the Muslim community asks not to equate the actions of few extremists to their entire community, we also ask that actions of a few not be attributed to the whole atheist community.
We would like to stress that SU officials have explicitly stated that we are not accused of “Islamophobia”. We strongly oppose any form of anti-Muslim prejudice. Framing the criticism of religion as “discrimination” or “Islamophobic actions” is highly misguided and results in the stifling of valid debates. None of the so-called “Islamophobic actions” by atheist societies have actually targeted individuals for their beliefs. Mere criticism of Islam does not constitute Islamophobia, just like criticism of Christianity does not constitute Christianophobia. We do not discriminate amongst religions in our criticisms.
LSESU Atheist, Secularist and Humanist society