This weekend, atheist and best-selling author Richard Dawkins went on Twitter to slam Muslims for attempting gender segregation at a University College London debate on Saturday.
The debate, entitled 'Islam or Atheism: What Makes More Sense?,' was organized by the Islamic Education and Research Academy. The debate featured Professor Lawrence Krauss and lecturer Hamza Andreas Tzortzis.
The Guardian reported:
After having been told the event would NOT be gender segregated, we arrived and were told that women were to sit in the back of the auditorium, while men and couples could file into the front. After watching three people be kicked out of the auditorium for not following this seating plan, Dr Krauss bravely defended his beliefs of gender equality and informed event staff that he would not participate unless they removed the segregated seating. Needless to say, the staff got their shit together pretty quickly and the event (thankfully) continued.
The event’s organizer, Zayd Tutton, disagreed, but told HuffingtonPost.com.uk: “There were three sections as agreed with UCL prior to the debate. This was agreed clearly with UCL representatives. Muslim women choosing to adhere to orthodox Islamic principles in sitting in their own area had their own section. As for those who wanted to sit together, male or female, they had their own section where they freely mixed and sat together from the beginning.”
In response, Dawkins tweeted: "Who the hell do these Muslims think they are? At UCL of all places, tried to segregate the sexes in a debate between @LKrauss1 and a Muslim."
"I don't think Muslims should segregate sexes at University College London events. Oh NO, how very ISLAMOPHOBIC of me. How RACIST of me."