Adhere to gender neutral nature of UK public space

30th May 2014

Sir, Gender separated seating may be a ‘normative Islamic practice’ but the UK is not an Islamic state culturally or historically, nor is it a majority Muslim country. Muslims may choose to have gender separated seating in Mosques and private gatherings but public meetings in UK Universities are a different matter entirely and UK standards of gender and sexual equality apply.

If Muslim speakers wish to address audiences in public meetings then they should adhere to the gender neutral nature of UK public space. Alternatively they could organise their events in Mosques or Islamic centres which by virtue of being outside the civic space can retain their own rules. Is gender separation acceptable at Uni events? No, of course it isn’t more than gender separated seating on trains or buses in cinemas or theatres. In your own space you do as you please, in public you conform to the law and culture of the land.

Karen Wood
Online submission

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