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.
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.
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.