This is real. And in England, at least, universities are going along with it:
Universities can segregate students during debates as long as the women are not forced to sit behind the men, university leaders have said.
Segregation at the behest of a controversial speaker is an issue which arises "all the time” and banning men and women from sitting next to each during debates is a "big issue" facing universities, Universities UK has said.
As a result they have issued guidance which suggests that segregation is likely to be acceptable as long as men and women are seated side by side and one party is not at a disadvantage.
This is "separate but equal" segregation, and we already went through this in America. Remember the 'white' and 'colored' water fountains, side by side? Nothing wrong with that, right? After all, one wasn't behind the other.
And I'm sure it would have been fine to insist that Rosa Parks sit on the left side of the bus, where her presence wouldn't pollute the fine, upstanding white folks on the right side, wouldn't it? That would have been acceptable?
OK, this isn't America, but I'm absolutely astonished that universities would even consider such a plan. But then, it's religion, so they've got to bend over backward, don't they? I mean, it's not as though these people want to preach, right? (You mean they'd actually shut up, if they didn't get their own way in everything?)
Maryam Namazie puts it well:
Clearly, this is not about people’s belief systems.
If it were so, Muslims would be unable to ride buses, the underground, enter their workplaces via entrances used by both men and women, eat in non-segregated restaurants… They wouldn’t even be able to get to the segregated meeting room since men and women would be mingling freely on the streets and halls right up to their entry into the segregated hall kindly organised by Universities UK.
And what next? Another set of guidelines asking unveiled women to veil so as not to “result in a religious group being prevented from having a debate in accordance with its belief system.” Maybe they can ask that niqabs be handed out to unchaste and unveiled women before entry.
More importantly, what about the women and men, including Muslims, who don’t want to be segregated? What Universities UK conveniently forgets is that segregation of the sexes and the veil are highly contested even amongst Muslims. By justifying segregation, they choose to side with Islamists at the expense of women’s rights and equality.
It doesn’t take a genius to understand that segregation is never applied to those who are considered equal but rather to separate the “superior” from the “inferior.” Women are too “beguiling” to sit next to men; they will cause chaos and fitnah and therefore must be segregated and veiled. Universities UK agrees.
I've got a better idea: blindfolds. If a speaker doesn't want to see men and women sitting together, have him put on a blindfold. You don't need to see in order to speak. Someone can lead him to the stage, lead him to his seat, and he'll never have to be polluted by such a horrible sight at all.
And this will be his decision. He won't be making decisions for everyone else, just for himself. This way, the men and women in the audience can make their own decisions, too. How could you get any fairer than that?
And who knows? Maybe this will catch on in the Muslim world. Instead of forcing women to wear burqas (not in every Muslim country, but those where this is enforced), women could wear anything they wanted. If a man didn't want to see it, he could wear a blindfold. Simple, don't you think?
Yeah, fat chance, huh? But in this case, if a Muslim fanatic doesn't want to speak, he doesn't have to. If he doesn't want to debate, he doesn't have to. These are religious extremists trying to push their own views on us. Well, they're welcome to do so. That's what free speech is all about.
But they can't make demands on what other people choose to do. It's simply none of their business. If men and women choose to sit together, or apart, it's their business. If it bothers you to see it, don't look. Close your eyes. Wear a blindfold.
England, do you really think these religious fanatics will stop coming to your schools to convert the heathen if you don't give in on such things? Heh, heh. Not a chance! Not that it would be such a bad thing if they did. But they want to talk.