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LEADING physicist and prominent atheist, Professor Lawrence Krauss, was accused of ?intolerance? after he threatened to walk out of a debate at University College London because the organisers wanted men and women in the audience to be segregated.

Professor Krauss, a former adviser to President Obama, was taking part in a debate entitled: ?Islam or Atheism: Which Makes More Sense?? organised by a group called the Islamic Education and Research Academy, which has now been banned from holding events on the UCL campus.

In its corner, Islam had Greek convert Hamza Andreas Tzortzis, described on the iERA site as:

An international public speaker on Islam, a writer, lecturer and intellectual activist. He is particularly interested in Islam, politics, western and Islamic philosophy.

He is also an extremist nutjob, who ? according to this report ? had called for an Islamic state in the UK, expressed his hostility towards Western values and stated that:

We as Muslims reject the idea of freedom of speech, and even of freedom.

He is a former researcher for the hardline Hittin Institute and chaired the launch event of iERA, an umbrella organisation hosting many well-known British Muslim extremists who preach opposition to democracy and hatred against homosexuals and Jews.

Professor Krauss said he had been shocked to find that men and women had been segregated the debate last week, and threatened to walk out unless organisers agreed to let men and women sit together, which was eventually agreed. But he was then astonished to find himself being accused of intolerance by angry members of the audience.

He suggested in Britain people were often too polite to object to such practices as well as being cowed by those eager to protest whenever they felt ?their cultural norms are not being met?.

He said:

People are not only afraid to offend, but afraid to offend a vocal and aggressive group of people. There is a segment of the Islamic community that is very vocal about this.

The professor added:

I think the notion that these cultural norms should be carried out within a broader society that not only doesn?t share them but that is free and open is a very serious problem.

Authorities at University College London have launched an investigation into the event last Saturday, at which people who attended were separated into men, women and coupled seating areas ? with women at the back.

Professor Krauss said he was later told by one woman who attended that she went into the lecture theatre holding hands with a male friend and pretending he was her boyfriend to be able to sit in the mixed section.

Richard Dawkins described the separation as ?sexual apartheid? and suggested ?heads should roll?.

Footage posted online showed Krauss saying ?quit the segregation or I?m out of here? after security staff tried to throw out three men who had gone to sit in the women?s section of the audience.

Eventually his request was met and the event continued but some members of the audience were upset with him. One even shouted ?intolerant? as he left, which he found ?remarkable?.

A woman who spoke in the debate said she was uncomfortable sitting among men. Professor Krauss said he told her that he respected her feelings but added:

You are in a public arena and not in a mosque, not in a private event.

He told the Daily Telegraph:

The notion that because these cultural norms make some people feel uncomfortable in broader society, that broader society should accommodate that discomfort, is complete nonsense.

It was ?vitally important? that institutions such as universities were secular and avoided segregation of any kind, he added.

It is the obligation of people who don?t feel comfortable with that to decide how they are going to mesh with broader society, not the other way around. It is not cultural racism. For better or worse, we live in a free society, and we live in a secular, open society.

Professor Krauss said it was the first time he had experienced such segregation.

I did a debate with an Islamic group in Australia which worked out fine. There were no issues and there was certainly not even the proposal that there should be segregation.

The IERA has admitted seating areas were separated by gender at the UCL debate but said that it did not enforce segregation and had launched a ?thorough internal investigation? into what took place.

http://freethinker.c...13/03/16/28627/

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Kudos to Lawrence Krauss

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Reminds me of the Catholics (and Republicans in America) who are opposed to marriage equality for homosexuals but don't like to be called bigots.

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Professor Krauss, a former adviser to President Obama...

There's the problem right there.

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Reminds me of the Catholics (and Republicans in America) who are opposed to marriage equality for homosexuals but don't like to be called bigots.

Two completely separate issues if you'd like to do more research. (I'm neither Catholic nor American, just saying.)

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There's the problem right there.

How ignorant. Do you not realize this is one of the smartest men in America? Of course if Obama knows that he's going to try and utilize him.

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There's the problem right there.

Huh? He was part of a science policy committee. You know science, right?

Krauss was 100% right in this case. What the hell is going on in English Unis? It seems every day Islamic groups are inviting radicals to indoctrinate students.

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Why do Muslims migrate to the west?

We had this crap from the moron before.

The crap coming so readily from his lips about the Islamic flag flying over Buckingham Palace and Downing street; that turning part of England into an Islamic state.

We already have Sharia courts and Jewish courts that deal with Muslim and Jewish problems.

I think that should not be allowed already.

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Why do Muslims migrate to the west?

We had this crap from the moron before.

The crap coming so readily from his lips about the Islamic flag flying over Buckingham Palace and Downing street; that turning part of England into an Islamic state.

We already have Sharia courts and Jewish courts that deal with Muslim and Jewish problems.

I think that should not be allowed already.

I agree, but at least those "courts" have absolutely zero legal authority. They're nothing more than a form of arbitration.

Still, I would be happier if they were closed down.

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I agree, but at least those "courts" have absolutely zero legal authority.

For now. . .

I still think having special arbitration courts specifically for some groups is an abhorrent departure from the idea that everyone in society is equal under the law and is to follow the same rules.

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Two completely separate issues if you'd like to do more research. (I'm neither Catholic nor American, just saying.)

Of course the issues are different but the approach to dismissing critics and attempting to normalise bigotry are the same.

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For now. .

I still think having special arbitration courts specifically for some groups is an abhorrent departure from the idea that everyone in society is equal under the law and is to follow the same rules.

We have all sorts of non official mediation. Refusing a group of people who choose to use one of their own is wrong. Where there would be a problem is that if someone is not happy with it and they are prevented by their community in taking action in the legal system in the court of the land.

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We have all sorts of non official mediation. Refusing a group of people who choose to use one of their own is wrong. Where there would be a problem is that if someone is not happy with it and they are prevented by their community in taking action in the legal system in the court of the land.

Mediation in a workplace dispute or a neighbourhood disagreement is entirely different to having a religious law court set up for the sake of one particular group.

The law is useless if we simply allow anyone to set up their own systems and bypass the state. This is blatant attempt to segregate themselves away from the rest of wider society.

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Mediation in a workplace dispute or a neighbourhood disagreement is entirely different to having a religious law court set up for the sake of one particular group.

law is useless if we simply allow anyone to set up their own systems and bypass the state. This is blatant attempt to segregate themselves away from the rest of wider society.

This is a system some people choose to use before taking a dispute before the law. As long as they don't promote an action that is illegal there should be no problem. Saying it's about religion and calling it a court when it actually isn't serves no purpose.

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Professor Krauss said he was later told by one woman who attended that she went into the lecture theatre holding hands with a male friend and pretending he was her boyfriend to be able to sit in the mixed section.

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How ignorant. Do you not realize this is one of the smartest men in America? Of course if Obama knows that he's going to try and utilize him.

He doesn't impress me much, especially after this dumb move.

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He doesn't impress me much, especially after this dumb move.

So you're a supporter of segregation? Yikes.

What the hell is going on in English Unis? It seems every day Islamic groups are inviting radicals to indoctrinate students.

It's one Uni and they were banned from UCL when it was discovered what they were doing.

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He doesn't impress me much, especially after this dumb move.

What the hell? Did you misunderstand the article or are you advocating gender segregation? :s :wacko: :/

^ Reading University's muslim group invited a crack-pot only a little while ago. Then when his appearance was cancelled they had the nerve to turn around and say it was cancelled, not because the speakers views are vile, but because people who might have protested his appearance may have became violent.

I think I posted it in the official religion topic.

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What the hell? Did you misunderstand the article or are you advocating gender segregation? :s :wacko: :/

He apparently stopped reading when he saw "Obama".

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He doesn't impress me much, especially after this dumb move.

He didn't like that men and women were segregated so he threatened to walk out and that was a dumb move?

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He apparently stopped reading when he saw "Obama".

Right. I should have woken up to that.

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I miss the days when Science was what a Scientist (thus the name scientist) focused on.

Here is yet another example (beside the above)...

The amount of crap that you had to wade through P.Z. Myers blog to get to anything scientific was just unacceptable.

That is why I dropped his blog. It's one thing to be a man of science, it's another to devote massive chunks on your blog because you are a raving anti-religious bigot.

(yeah, being an anti-religious bigot is going to help people understand science and promote it. Progressive doesn't mean intelligent).

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Being anti-segregationist isn't not anti-religious. The religion is the one at fault here, not the professor. Religions that treat any one group differently to another are the bigots.

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Being anti-segregationist isn't not anti-religious. The religion is the one at fault here, not the professor. Religions that treat any one group differently to another are the bigots.

The fact that many scientists promote Atheism instead of focusing on science already proves this wrong.

I even gave you two examples and it went over your head. I can't imagine how you could handle anything complex.

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Being anti-segregationist isn't not anti-religious.

Being segregationist is religious.

The religion is the one at fault here, not the professor. Religions that treat any one group differently to another are the bigots.

(Y)

?Islam or Atheism: Which Makes More Sense??

lol. this topic is a magnet for the trolls. Who would in their right mind go to such a conference?

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