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UoB Islamic Society planning to protest today after Free Speech Soc refuse to postpone event

UoB’s Islamic Society has called the event “Islamophobic”

Members of the University of Bristol Islamic Society (BRISOC) have written an open letter to the University, asking for today's event hosted by the Free Speech Society to be postponed

The event, Extreme Thinkers vs Free Speech, is described as "problematic" in the letter, with concerns over speaker Emma Fox.

The letter states how Fox "has quoted organisations attempting to tackle Islamophobia as “legitimising extremism.”

We feel this is an unfair and inaccurate representation of our communications with you so in the spirit of free speech…

Posted by Bristol University Islamic Society (Brisoc) on Friday, March 22, 2019

"Her reports trying to discredit Islamophobia Awareness Month are without evidence and inflammatory, and the fact that they are titled “Profiting from Prejudice” is deeply offensive, as it suggests Muslims are wrong to raise concerns about the discrimination they face."

Members also raise concerns over the event being hosted so soon after the recent attack in Christchurch. The letter expresses how Muslims are still in the process of grieving, and that there is a fear events like this will spread anti-Muslim hate.

The letter adds: "It is highly insensitive, to say the least, that the Free Speech Society think it is appropriate to host such an event in light of the recent wave of Islamophobic violence across the Western world."

The letter also makes clear that if the event goes ahead as planned, a protest will be held throughout the event outside the Queen's Building.

In response to BRISOC's demands, the Free Speech Society has decided to go ahead with the event.

Their statement regarding the decision to follow through with the event reads: "In keeping with the society’s values and belief that respectful dialogue on sensitive topics is not only possible but desirable, we have decided to proceed with our event as planned.

Statement regarding our upcoming event with Emma Fox from the Henry Jackson Society:Some students have expressed worry…

Posted by University of Bristol Free Speech Society on Friday, March 22, 2019

"We are saddened by demands that our event be postponed, cancelled or radically altered, as we do not feel that such requests are reasonable.

"We have been in touch with the Bristol Islamic Society to extend our wishes of good-will. We are in talks with them about arranging another collaborative event in the near future, discussing the issue from a different perspective."

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