NUSOn 17 March 2016 from 5-6pm Council of Ex-Muslims of Britain and Right2Debate will be holding a protest at the office of the NUS, Macadam House, 275 Gray’s Inn Road, London, WC1X 8QB. Join Us. Also Tweet “I call on @nusuk to revise safe space and no platform policies to facilitate not restrict free expression and thought,” take part in the thunderclap campaign or email the NUS stating the same at office@nus.org.uk.

NUS: Revise Safe Space and No Platform Policies to Facilitate not Restrict Free Expression and Thought

We are deeply concerned by the increasing attempts by the National Union of Students (NUS) and its affiliated Student Unions to silence dissenters – including feminists, apostates, LGBTI rights campaigners, anti-racists, anti-fascists and anti-Islamists – through its use of No-Platform and Safe Space policies.

We stand against all prejudice and discrimination. We agree that free speech does not mean giving bigots a free pass. A defence of free speech includes the right and moral imperative to challenge, oppose and protest bigoted views.

Educational institutions must be a place for the exchange and criticism of all ideas – even those deemed unpalatable by some – providing they don’t incite violence against peoples or communities. Bigoted ideas are most effectively defeated by open debate, backed up by ethics, reason and evidence.

The student body is not homogeneous; there will be differences of opinion among students. The NUS’s restrictive policies infringe upon the right of students to hear and challenge dissenting and opposing views.

We, therefore, call on the NUS to revise its No-Platform and Safe Space policies to facilitate freedom of expression and thought, rather than restrict it.

Signed:
FINAL UPDATED 18 March 2016 AM

(Students, Activists and Academics are welcome to sign on to the letter, which will be updated regularly. To sign on to the letter, please email below contact persons.)

AC Grayling, Philosopher
Adrian Hart, Author ‘The Myth of Racist Kids’, ‘That’s Racist!’ and occasional contributor to Spiked
Afsaneh Vahdat, Women’s Rights Activist
Alexa Robertson, Secretary of UNASH at Nottingham and Campaigns Officer for the National Federation of Atheist, Humanist and Secular Student Societies
Alicia McElhill, President City of Leicester NUT
Amanda Jane Brown, Humanist/Secular Activist, Newcastle Upon Tyne
Amanda Sebestyen, Asylum Education and Legal Fund
Andrew Browne, University Student
Andrew Kekwick, Activist
Annie Sugier, President of the Ligue du Droit International des Femmes
Ansar Ahmed Ullah, International Forum for Secular Bangladesh
Asher Fainman, President of Goldsmiths Atheist, Secularist and Humanist Society
Asqar Karimi, Executive Board of the Worker-communist Party of Iran
Ateizm Dernegi in Turkey
Atheist Alliance International
Author, Jesus & Mo
Babak Yazdi, Spokesperson of Kanoon-e Khavaran
Bahram Soroush, Activist
Becky Lavelle, President of Hull University Secularist, Atheist, and Humanist Society
Benjamin David, President of Warwick Atheists, Secularists and Humanists
Bernárd J. Lynch, Catholic priest and Chair of Camden LGBT Forum
Bread and Roses TV
Brendan O’Neill, Editor of Spiked
Brian Robinson, Retired Psychiatrist
Brighton Secular Humanists
Caroline Fourest, Author
Center for Inquiry
Central London Humanist Group
Centre for Secular Space
Chichester Humanists
Chris Austin, Physicist
Chris Moos, Secularist Activist
Christine M. Shellska, President of Atheist Alliance International
Christy Walsh LLM
Coel Hellier, Professor of Astrophysics, Keele University
Connor Naylor, External Outreach Officer of the LSESU Free Speech Society
Council of Ex-Muslims of Britain
Coventry and Warwickshire Humanists
David Browne, LLM Student in International Human Rights Law
Durham Atheist, Secularist and Humanist Society
Eda Ulus, Lecturer, University of Leicester
Elham Manea, Academic and human Rights advocate
Emma Humphreys Memorial Prize
Equal Rights Now – Organisation against Women’s Discrimination in Iran
Erin Dopp, Activist
Esam Shoukry, Defense of Secularism and Civil Rights in Iraq
Evelyne Abitbol, General Director and Co-Founder of Raif Badawi Foundation for Freedom
Faisal Saeed Al-Mutar, Iraqi Writer and Human Rights Activist
Faizun Zackariya, Citizens’ Voice for Justice and Peace
Fariborz Pooya, Host of Bread and Roses TV
Farzana Hassan, Author
Farzaneh Derakhshan, Activist
Feminism in London
Fireproof Library
Fitnah – Movement for Women’s Liberation
Fredric M. London, Activist
Frederick Money, Undergraduate, Merton College Oxford
Free Speech Society – LSE Speakeasy
Gino Ragnoli, Treasurer for the University of Leicester Atheist, Humanist and Secular Society
Gita Sahgal, Director of Centre for Secular Space
Gregory Kent, Academic and Journalist
Gush Bhumbra, President of Leicester Secular Society
Halima Begum, ExMuslim Researcher and Blogger
Hamid Taqvaee, Leader of Worker-communist Party of Iran
Hassan Radwan, Founder Member of Agnostic Muslims Facebook Group and Admin/Blogger of Agnostic Muslim Khutbahs
Helen Chamberlain, President of Durham Atheist, Secularist and Humanist Society
Houzan Mahmoud, Women’s Rights Activist, Kurdistan
Hull University Secularist, Atheist, and Humanist Society
Ian Leaver, Secretary City of Leicester NUT
Ian Symons, Secretary of Central London Humanist Group
Imad Iddine Habib, Spokesperson of Council of Ex-Muslims of Britain
Index on Censorship
Indian Rationalist Association
International Forum for Secular Bangladesh
James Burchett, Activist
Jane Donnelly, Atheist Ireland
Jodie Ginsberg, CEO, Index on Censorship
Josh Crossman, Psychology graduate from Aberystwyth University, and a Health Psychology MSc student at Surrey University
Julie Bindel, Justice for Women and the Emma Humphreys Memorial Prize
Justice for Women
Kalsoom Bashir, co-directors of Inspire
Kameron J. St. Clare, President of the Middle Common Room, St. Hilda’s College, Oxford
Karrar Al Asfoor, Arab Atheists and Forum for Humanitarian Dialogue
Kate Smurthwaite, Comedian and Activist
Katha Pollitt, Feminist Poet, Essayist and Critic
Kazem Nik-Khah, Political Activist
Kazimierz Lyszczynski Foundation
Kenan Malik, Author
Keyvan Javid, Director of New Channel TV
Keziah Conroy, UCLU Atheist, Secularity and Humanist society President
Kieron Kavanagh, Retired Paramedic
Kojin Mirizayi, Law student and President of the Kurdish Society at the University of Kent
Laura Guidetti, Marea Italian feminist magazine
Lee Jones, Queen Mary, University of London
Leicester Secular Society
Leo Gibbons-Plowright, Blogger, Secularist and Free Speech Campaigner
Lesley Dove, Animal Rights and Pro-life Activist
Ligue du Droit International des Femmes
Lila Ghobady, Filmmaker
Linda Weil-Curiel, Lawyer, Paris Bar
Lisa-Marie Taylor, Chair of Feminism in London
Lloyd Newson OBE
Maajid Nawaz, Author and Counter-extremism Activist
Maggie Hall, Chair, Brighton Secular Humanists
Magi Gibson, Scottish Poet and Author
Marea Italian Feminist Magazine
Marek Lukaszewicz, Polish Atheist and Feminist
Marieme Helie Lucas, Algerian Sociologist and Founder of Women Living Under Muslims Laws and Secularism is a Women’s Issue
Maryam Namazie, Spokesperson of Council of Ex-Muslims of Britain, One Law for All and Host of Bread and Roses TV
Matilda Dow, Fourth Wave Edinburgh Feminist Activist group
Matt Corden, Undergraduate at Newcastle University
Melody Patry, Advocacy Officer at Index on Censorship
Mersedeh Ghaedi, London Spokesperson for Iran Tribunal
Michael Nugent, Atheist Ireland
Mick Hall, Organized Rage
Mina Ahadi, Coordinator of International Committee against Stoning and Execution
Miranda Yardley, Writer, Publisher and Activist
Mohamed Atef Saad Hegazy, Aerospace Engineering student
Nadia El Fani, Tunisian Filmmaker
Nahla Mahmoud, Spokesperson of Council of Ex-Muslims of Britain
National Secular Society
Nazanin Afshin-Jam, Co founder of Stop Child Executions
Nazanin Boroumand, Council of Ex-Muslims of Germany
Nick Cohen, Author
Nina Sankari, Polish Atheist and Feminist
Nira Yuval-Davis, Director of the Research Centre on Migration, Refugees and Belonging at the University of East London
Ollie Burton, President of Newcastle University Atheists’ and Secular Humanists’ Society
One Law for All
Ophelia Benson, Writer
Peter Flack, Leicester Social Forum
Peter Tatchell, Human Rights Campaigner
Pink Triangle Trust
Pragna Patel, Director of Southall Black Sisters
Rationalist International
Rayhan Rashid, Oxford
Rayhana Sultan, Spokesperson of Council of Ex-Muslims of Britain
Renas Siti, Student at the University of East Aglia
Rhys Morgan, Undergraduate student at Oxford Brookes University
Richard Barton, Ex Roman Catholic Priest
Richard Dawkins, Scientist and Author
Right2Debate
Risalat Khan, activist
Roberto Malini, Poet Laureate, Human Rights Defender and Co-President of EveryOne Group
Robin Blick, Musician and Artist
Roger Corcho, Assistant to MEP María Teresa Giménez Barbat
Ronald Lindsay, President of Center for Inquiry
Roy Brown, International Representative and former President of International Humanist and Ethical Union
Rumana Hashem, Founder of Community Women’s Blog and Adviser at Nari Diganta
Rumy Hasan, Senior Lecturer (Science Policy Research Unit), University of Sussex
Ryan Smith, Student
Salil Tripathi, Writer
Salman Rushdie, Writer
Sanal Edamaruku, Founder of Rationalist International and Indian Rationalist Association
Sara Khan, co-director of Inspire
Sarah Peace, Fireproof Library
Secularism is a Women’s Issue
Shahla Daneshfar, Coordinator of the International Labour Solidarity Committee of the Worker-communist Party of Iran
Shelley Segal, Singer/Songwriter
Shiva Mahbobi, Women’s Rights Activist and Spokesperson for Campaign to Free Political Prisoners in Iran
Sikivu Hutchinson, Author, Moral Combat: Black Atheists, Gender Politics, and the Values Wars
Siôn Trewyn, History and Politics student at the University of Sheffield
Southall Black Sisters
Spiked
Stephen Evans, Campaigns Manager of National Secular Society
Steven Pinker, Johnstone Family Professor, Dept. of Psychology, Harvard University
Susan Moore, Journalist
Swadhinata Trust
Taha Hosseini, Political Activist
Tehmina Kazi, Director of Media, Outreach and Lobbying for British Muslims for Secular Democracy
Terry Sanderson, President of National Secular Society
The National Federation of Atheist, Humanist and Secular Student Societies
Thor Halland, Comedy Actor
Tom Holland, Author and Historian
Tym Szala, Third year Student at the British and Irish Modern Music Institute
Udo Schuklenk, Professor of Philosophy and Ontario Research Chair in Bioethics
University of Leicester Atheist, Humanist and Secular Society
Waleed El Husseini, Founder of Council of Ex-Muslims of France
Zahra Asli, Friends of women in the Middle East


For more information, Contact
Benjamin David, benjamin.david@hotmail.co.uk
Haydar Zaki, Haydar.zaki@quilliamfoundation.org
Maryam Namazie, maryamnamazie@gmail.com