Jesus & Mo: a disturbing development

Jesus & Mo: a disturbing development January 19, 2012

“STRESS” lies behind the resignation of the President of University College London Union’s Atheist, Secularist and Humanist society, Robbie Yellon, following the row that broke out over the use of a Jesus & Mo cartoon on the society’s Facebook page.
The society, according to the BBC, said Yellon was stepping down to be replaced by former Vice President Michael Thor.
Michael Paynter, secretary for the National Federation of Atheist, Humanist and Secular Student Societies, said:

Robbie stepped aside because he signed up as president to organise events and run a student society. He did not appreciate the stress he would be under when dealing with a controversy like this, so he wanted to make way for someone else.

Meanwhile, the Ahmadiyya Muslim Youth Association is continuing with its protest against the image, saying it has wider implications.
Adam Walker, the association’s national spokesperson, said the two student groups had worked well together in the past and said the offence was unnecessary.

The principle is more important than who is being attacked  – this time it is Muslims and Christians but in the future it could be atheists themselves.
There is no need to print these things other than to cause offence and history has told us that these things cause offence.

He added:

I wouldn’t say we’re specifically pursuing UCL atheist society, it’s more about the broader principle.

UCL Union (UCLU) said in a statement:

The atheist society has agreed they will take more consideration when drawing up publicity for future events. The society was asked to remove the image because UCLU aims to foster good relations between different groups of students and create a safe environment where all students can benefit from societies regardless of their religious or other beliefs.

And while on the subject of freedom of expression, it seems as if the disruption of the shariah meeting at the Queen Mary University of London had been orchestrated by extremists from Islam Awakening, which posted this lamentably illiterate call on its blog on Monday:

Brothers, the Queen Mary Athiest Society, sister of the shaytaani UCL Athiest Society (which published pictures of Rasoolullah(saw)) are holding an event today at Queen Mary University of London at 7:00 pm on ‘ Is Shariah in violation of human rights’.
We need your presence. Who gave these kuffar the right to speak? Let me ask you – if a bunch of kuffar got together and were given the right to touch your mother up and analyse her, then would you stand by and let it happen? Then what about your deen?!!
Remember, these guys hate religion and are not looking to have an unbiased debate. Please be here by 7 pm. to let them know what we think. Back in my day no-one in UNi would dare even look the wrong way at a muslim, because we used to represent our deen and didnt take kindly to it being insulted. It is only when the pacifists ecame numerous that the kuffar dared to raise their heads.

Well, I guess this says it all ... thanks Remigius
Hat tip: Marcus Robinson

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  • Daz

    The principle is more important than who is being attacked – this time it is Muslims and Christians…

    Indeed. Principle is important. And the principle in question is freedom of expression. And of course they downplay the importance of who’s being attacked. After all, it was the religious folk who were doing the attacking.

    … but in the future it could be atheists themselves.

    In the future?

    There is no need to print these things other than to cause offence and history has told us that these things cause offence.

    On the contrary, there is every need to print these things, so as to show up how the religious can manage to feign offence at the slightest drop of a hat.

  • AgentCormac

    “The principle is more important than who is being attacked – this time it is Muslims and Christians but in the future it could be atheists themselves.”
    Well, that’s a laugh. Atheists get attacked all day every day by religiots. At least we don’t threaten them with violence in return.
    And as for Islam Awakening, they must be over the moon with how well the ‘brothers’ responded to that particular call to arms! Weren’t there just three of them turned up? Just a shame one of them turned out to be a psychopath.

  • How can these cartoon offend believers? I’ve been reading quite a few and they unequivocally express exactly what the believers believe. Believers should be supporting and distributing these cartoons as an exact and genuine reflection of their own beliefs, and laugh along.
    Even if there were a God or gods, they would be laughing, or they wouldn’t even care about these petty human affairs. If any atheists deserves any punishment for these cartoons, they would have got it by the gods themselves (gods certainly don’t need humans to defend them), or they’ll get it in the afterlife. And no one better than the gods themselves to judge the cartoonist more fairly. So let it be people. cheers!

  • Graham Martin-Royle

    “I wouldn’t say we’re specifically pursuing UCL atheist society, it’s more about the broader principle.”
    The broader principle is freedom of speech/expression. They have no right to impose their rules on non muslims.

  • Lazy Susan

    There is no need to print these things other than to cause offence and history has told us that these things cause offence.
    I begin to think that we (everyone – not just atheists) should deliberately print things to cause offence, so we all get used to it.

  • Lazy Susan

    PS And the church poster in Johannesburg is a case in point. It should not be banned. Heck, it’s even true (though sexist) – an atheist is a man who believes himself to be an accident. At least, this one is.

  • Daz

    Completely OT
    Bloody hell! I’m getting up-votes on a Daily Fail article!

  • remigius

    Thor in charge of the Atheist Society!
    Friggin’ Hel.

  • Daz

    Friggin’ Hel.

    I thor what you did there.

  • Harry

    The Islamic Awakenings forum has maybe 100 regular visitors. Should make it easy to find someone who knows who that man was.

  • remigius

    Harry. Some muppet called Riaz77 posted this…
    It would be in our interest if we took some photos or video shots of the kuffar.
    Sounds quite sinister.

  • remigius
  • Bubblecar

    One of the major problems in countering Islamism is that many powerful factions of what was once “the left” have ossified into a reactionary, unthinking power grouping that will brook no criticism of pretty much any non-Western cultural phenomena of any kind, while maintaining a hard-core anti-Western stance on most political and social issues. That this has effectively entailed the sacrifice of any commitment to liberal securalism doesn’t concern them. These people are nonetheless still regarded, by those who haven’t caught up with what’s going on, as being somehow a “liberal intelligentsia”. In truth, the remnants of Western liberalism are now to be found almost exclusively in the overt humanist, secularist and atheist groupings, who are waking up to the fact that “multiculturalism”, and the cultural relativism that endorses it, is an illiberal, amoral and entirely cynical imposition that needs to be opposed by all those who value our liberal humanist heritage.

  • Harry

    It’s a shame the London event has to be 2-4. Trains out of London cost a shitload from 3-7.

  • Quran (2:191-193) – “And slay them wherever ye find them, and drive them out of the places whence they drove you out, for persecution [of Muslims] is worse than slaughter [of non-believers].”
    And there you have it in black and white. It offends me to be threatened with death for being an unbeliever. It offends me that Muslims claim my death is less worse than mocking Islam.
    My nappy is nearly full of offence and I’m going to cry soon unless the Quran is edited to sooth my sensitive feelings. This technique seems to work well for the fainting divas of Mohammed, I think I’ll give it a try. Whaaaaaa!

  • Graham Martin-Royle

    @Bubblecar, You’ve hit the nail on the head. The left in this country has fallen for “the enemy of my enemy is my friend” gambit, not realising that islam is nobodies friend. It is reactionary, homophobic, misogynistic (just like the other Abrahamic religions) and will not countenance any criticism.

  • John Phillips, FCD

    Religion again shows why it is the very worst thing humanity has invented and the union doesn’t come out of it smelling of roses either. Shame on you but at least atheists now know one university to avoid like the plague.

  • Graham Martin-Royle

    January 19th, 2012 at 2:24 pm
    This just in……..xpression/
    I shall honour them with my presence.”
    See you there.

  • Broga

    Free speech religious style means that you can say what you like as long as we like what you say. There are many different ways of curbing free speech. Censorship of religious criticism by the BBC is one of them e.g. no non religious comments on the dreary Thought for the Day. Another is that way the C.of E. hierarchy has kept very quiet about the infestation of paedophile priests, and their sexually perverted practices, in the Roman Catholic Church.

  • remigius

    This is brilliant. I was just sea-urchin the interwebs for related stories when I checked out the Islam is Peace blog. They have had to remove a very misleading post and put up a disclaimer.
    Taken in context I think this say’s it all…

  • The Woggler

    Is it any wonder “these guys hate religion”?

  • Barry Duke

    When I followed your link, Remigius, I got an hilarious error message which I grabbed and put into the body of this post.

  • Angela_K

    Bubblecar I agree. The cultural relativist loving left have created a huge problem by remaining silent about fascist religion that is islam; in their distorted view any criticism is dismissed as racism. It is going to very hard to stop this disturbing march of uncompromising and dangerous zealots; our Government is too spineless to act.

  • Brian Jordan

    Google has a cache of the page but no disclaimer – just an admission of misattribution. There is a post supposedly by the secretary of the National Federation of AHS, blaming it all on Alex Gabriel. Can anyone fill the gap?
    PS: I entered the wrong Captcha and got the message field wiped clean. Im sure that hasn’t happened in the past. Oh, and what’s happened to the Edit option? Is there something up with my browser or do others find the same problems?

  • 1859

    Which is why we need a legal framework that encompasses and outlaws any act, any incitement by one religion/culture/race to hate another religion/culture/race. If some brainwashed shithead threatens to kill a roomful of people because he/she thinks there maybe something called ‘criticism’ of their belifs – this surely is a threat to commit an act of mass murder? which is called terrorism ? Why can’t we find a legal form of words which precisely defines ‘hate-promoting’ as likely to produce any state or condition of intolerance between different groups and their beliefs ….(you see I’m trying – but I ain’t no lawyer) …and if the judge or jury find that so-and-so’s actions could indeed promote a state of intolerance, then they are fined or jailed. Would it work – to legally constrain belief between clear parameters of tolerance?

  • Stuart H.

    So where are all the UK’s atheist academics while these attacks on the next generation of bright atheists are going on? As I think Barry’s said, this is after all the first secular university in the UK we’re talking about. I can’t believe a bunch of the best known professors in the country are standing about scratching their tenured arses while this nonsense continues.
    For example, as I recall, Steve Jones was Head of the Department of Genetics, Evolution and Environment at UCL until recently, and he isn’t the only secular scientific ‘name’ to teach there in recent years. Steve’s usually an outspoken, no nonsense guy faced with apologists for creationism and supernatural claptrap. Has nobody from the media had the wit to ask him what he thinks?
    I expect this crap from student unions – even back in my day just breeding grounds for the next generation of parliamentary dummies – but I thought at least one of the nation’s real intelligentsia would have spoken up by now. If they can’t, maybe they have nothing to teach our young people, not about things that count anyway.

  • john c

    Secularism is a great principle, but it lacks the teeth to deal with extremist muslims,who believe their law is the only one which the world should follow.They will not accept a secular rule , they refuse to accept the human rights of any non muslim,and as such should not be able to claim protection under the human rights act.Our failiure to deport several hate preachers shows our weakness,to claim protection from the human rights act in any country, it should first be a prerequisite that you accept its principals and live by them.Tolerance of intolerance has no place in our society.Let the hate preachers be sent to their own justice systems, bred out of their own values, and suffer the tender mercies thereof.We are to soft in this country.

  • Atheist4Life

    Islam is the only religion that actually admits it hates free speech, human rights and non-believers more then any other religion.

  • Stephen Stallebrass

    So… UCLU caves to bullying islamists by asking the atheist group to remove the image and by asking them to ‘take more consideration’? Shame on them! People should be flooding their email with complaints:

  • “The broader principle is freedom of speech/expression. They have no right to impose their rules on non muslims.”
    Yes, they do. Islam gives them that right. You might think we face a multi-cultural buffet where there is freedom of choice, they don’t. Before Mohammed took control of Mecca with his army, many gods were worshipped there. After he had control, there was a death sentence for any kuffar who was found in Mecca. And that death sentence is still in force (not something the BBC’s documentary on Mohammed bothered to tell you).
    “Those who would give up Essential Liberty to purchase a little Temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.”
    That’s the situation we are in. Use it, or lose it.

  • barriejohn

    Searching on the web I fnd that the Muslims at this university are VERY active, and they do seem to have form, though this is taken from another “counter-jihadist” site:

  • barriejohn

    I love this. They have a “sisters’ wing” that “caters for women”. Wow!

  • barriejohn

    Is there a responsible adult available at that place?

  • 1859

    All religions have for far too long been outside the state’s laws – what was it that the French judge said when fining a woman who refused to respect the French state’s secular laws ‘Your religious beliefs are not above the laws of this country.’

  • barriejohn
  • Angela_K

    Good point Stuart H. I expect the prominent atheists are keeping their heads down because they don’t want to be a target.
    Along similar lines, I heard on the wireless this morning that Salman Rushdie will not be going to a literary festival in India due to islamic threats.

  • barriejohn
  • Secularists should encourage the spread of the METAMEME. It blocks the growth of violent, intimidating, dogmatic religions, in the same way that the mild cowpox virus blocks the spread of lethal smallpox.

  • Har Davids

    The people who like being offended don’t need any provocation at all and are willing to turn a blind eye to the attacks of their co-religionists on us or Muslims of a different stripe.
    Maybe these offended Muslims, who also seem to be concerned about possible, future attacks on Atheists should take a look at the NT: “Or how wilt thou say to thy brother, Let me pull out the mote out of thine eye; and, behold, a beam is in thine own eye?”. In other words: if you don’t mind insulting and attacking the kaffur, while taking advantage of the system they’ve created, shut up or leave for parts of the world where you’ll fit in.

  • remigius

    @Sean Robsville. Buddhism may be less offensive than Islam but it’s still bollocks.

  • Melgore

    And all this at University. Higher education yet still fundamentally “dumb” 🙁 *sigh*

  • @ remigius
    The difference is that a) buddhism is atheistic, b) buddhism is a form of radical empiricism (it is opposed to faith and opinion, and asks people to only follow what they know). Your ignorance is forgivable – buddhism was only first discovered by the west in the 19th century (and the popular idea of buddhism in the west is that it is a form of yoga for vegetarians).