Freedom of Expression,  Islamism

The battle of Conway Hall

I’ve just noticed this graphic description of the fracas at the Al-Maj-hijacked “sharia” debate last week. Giles Enders, the chair of the Southplace Ethical Society (who own the hall) described events. Here’s an extract:

“These thuggish bouncers wouldn’t allow anyone in, so I said we would call the police. But the police took forever to come, so in the end I had to send our maintenance man across to the police station to get them. It became extremely aggressive in the foyer – somebody got hurt and was bleeding. I said to the bouncers that I run this bloody hall and what I say goes and they pushed me away. They wouldn’t even allow me in the hall, so I went round the side way and got on the stage, and made an announcement through the mic that the meeting was not to take place. After I said this I stood on the stage with all the chanting mob screaming at me in Arabic, and pointing fingers like guns at me. Then they then cut the mic I was using, as one of their people was operating the sound control box. Then the main speaker [Choudary] got hold of a radio mic and started shouting in Arabic. So I grappled that off him, and then I sat on the stage.”

The post ends with a snappy to answer to the big question: So the big question is why a controversial Islamist group, whose stated aim is to turn Britain into an Islamic state governed by Sharia law, was allowed to attempt its relaunch in the centre of British humanism and free thought?*

Read more on the The New Humanist blog …

* It’s an answer that some people still don’t ‘get’.