A pineapple named Muhammad and a lot of moxy.

I like these guys.

A group of atheist students were kicked out of their university’s fresher fair because of a “blasphemous pineapple” named Mohammed.

The Reading University Atheist, Humanist and Secularist Society (RAHS) took part in the fair on Wednesday, in order to promote their upcoming debate “Should we respect religion?”.

The society displayed a pineapple bearing the name Mohammed on their stall, to “encourage discussion about blasphemy, religion, and liberty”.

“We wanted to celebrate the fact that we live in a country in which free speech is protected, and where it is lawful to call a pineapple by whatever name one chooses,” a society spokesperson said.

Towards the afternoon, the group was informed they had to leave the fair by a member of Reading University Student Union (RUSU) staff. The reason given was several complaints had made against the offending pineapple, although RAHS members insist they were not made aware of any such protestations.

The society refused to remove the fruit due to their “commitment to freedom of expression”, to which they were told by the RUSU member: “Either the pineapple goes, or you do.”

A struggle ensued, wherein the pineapple was seized, but shortly returned to the owners, where it was re-christened Jesus.

Defiant smartasses.  That is the stuff of which legendary activists are made.

You know, back when I was doing my college activism thing, we put on an outdoor concert one year.  Two bands into an all-day concert, campus security came by and told us that for the rest of the day bands couldn’t use “the F word” on the school’s free speech zone.

Here’s what that area looked like shortly thereafter.

Picture of the free speech zone covered in people holding various "fuck" signs.

Push back and have fun doing it.  It turns out that it almost always creates greater awareness of your issue, and it even gets the big dogs’ attention at times.

POLITICS: Boehner calls Obama an “anti-war President.”
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About JT Eberhard

When not defending the planet from inevitable apocalypse at the rotting hands of the undead, JT is a writer and public speaker about atheism, gay rights, and more. He spent two and a half years with the Secular Student Alliance as their first high school organizer. During that time he built the SSA’s high school program and oversaw the development of groups nationwide. JT is also the co-founder of the popular Skepticon conference and served as the events lead organizer during its first three years.

  • TheWalrus

    Now I have to find a way to use fuckadoodledoo. Good stuff

  • iknklast

    Having a free speech zone is bad enough. Students should have free speech on the entire campus.

  • Amyc

    This wouldn’t work for my campus. In Texas, saying “fuck” in public is an arrestable offense. :-(