Magazine article The Times Higher Education Supplement : THE

THE Scholarly Web: People

Magazine article The Times Higher Education Supplement : THE

THE Scholarly Web: People

Article excerpt

Weekly transmissions from the blogosphere.

When two students from the London School of Economics' atheist society were allegedly threatened with being kicked out of their institution's freshers' fair for wearing T-shirts featuring cartoon versions of Jesus and the Prophet Muhammad, the online community was quick to wade into the debate.

According to reports, students' union officers and security guards threatened to expel two LSESU Atheist, Secularist and Humanist Student Society members from the event. It was alleged that complaints had been received about the two students' choice of shirts, which featured the webcomic characters Jesus and Mo.

Chris Moos and Abhishek Phadnis were told that wearing the T-shirts might constitute "harassment".

"As much as we respect and defend the rights of others to wear whatever they choose to wear, we claim this right for ourselves," the two students say in an article on The Independent's website.

"Our right to free expression and participation in the LSE student community is being curtailed for no other reason than that we are expressing views that are not shared by others."

In a post on her blog Nothing Is Sacred, human rights activist and broadcaster Maryam Namazie asked LSE: "What happened to freedom of thought?"

"Yes, we know people have a 'right' and 'choice' to wear the burka (which is a mobile prison for women)," she writes, "but two LSE students don't have a right to wear a T-shirt poking fun at religion?"

"I am coming to your university for a debate on the burka, and guess what I'm wearing? …

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