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  • Imperial imposes empirical dresscode

    by Rohin
    23rd November, 2005 at 7:45 pm    

    The country’s second most stuck-up university (don’t deny it Sajini!) has banned hoodies, scarves that obscure the face and veils. As a University of London hack, I actually heard about this about a month ago and I do apologise for taking so long to bring it to your attention. However it has allowed me to cobble together a bit more information. The story first broke in my paper’s big sister, London Student and has been covered widely in the student press, including Imperial College’s own paper (boo! hiss!), Felix.

    Imperial College has demanded that all students must have their entire face and ID card visible at all times. No clothing which obscures any part of the face is permitted. The reasoning given for this move is “the terrorist incidents which occurred over the summer”. Imperial College they could be a potential target for terrorists due to all sorts of hazardous chemicals being stored, but they also face a (bigger) threat from animal rights activists, as they carry out quite a large amount of research on animals.

    At my own medical school, I recently got embroiled in a dispute between the medschool and the Islamic Society with regard to some female Muslim students who wore a facial veil. One of the senior staff members complained that it was unacceptable for the girls to have their faces covered when speaking to patients and I agreed. Another reason given, somewhat similarly to at Imperial, was that if a person’s face was covered, an ID badge would become obsolete and we are required to wear badges whilst in any clinical area (e.g. a ward). As you might expect, the whole thing escalated courtesy of some fundas-in-training and it ended with the girls actually leaving. Since then St. George’s has banned veils in certain parts of the medschool.

    IC’s Student Union have claimed that ID badges could easily be forged by wannabe terrorists, which seems a rather daft retort. They also questioned how the rule would be enforced when the Imperial campus has a public thoroughfare straight through it. A particularly irksome part of the ruling is that “offensive” clothing is also banned. How this is a security risk, I don’t know. Perhaps wearing a “I LOVE BUSH (the pussy not the President)” could spark a terrorist attack.

    Some people have told me that Muslim women who do wish to wear a full niqab or burqa would be further maligned from society if they are not permitted to study at certain higher education establishments, even if they just want to end up a researcher in a lab, a writer or simply study for a degree. My gut reaction would be that if you wish to dress like that, you are automatically distancing yourself from Western society where the face plays a key role in all interactions, so should you really be complaining about quite rational rules? Crucially, the ban does not affect women wearing the hijab. The inclusion of the hoodie is perhaps more controversial, what would Lady Sovereign say? The Union President, Sameena Misabahuddin said “I certainly won’t be enforcing the hoodies ruling”.

    I was a teenage troublemaker with a hoodie, which I still own. I shall be wearing it around Imperial to see what happens. Will keep you posted ;)

    Now I’m off to drink for 24 hours…starting from midnight!

    Picture credit - Oliver Pell

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    Filed in: Current affairs,Religion

    77 Comments below   |  

    Reactions: Twitter, blogs
    1. Opinionated Voice

      [...] Following religious symbols already being banned in various European countries, the niqab has now been banned by a London University. Imperial College has banned the Islamic Veil alongside hoodies, as a supposed security and anti-terrorism measure. It appears the myth that hijabi’s hide AK47’s under their coats continues. Instead of increasing security in terms of technology and personnel, the University instead infringes the right of the individual. I assume there will be a test case brought to the European Court, and if the University wins, others will follow suit. Tech Tags: Imperial+College Niqab Veil Hijab Hoodies Islam Human Rights «« Previous: 24 Hour Drinking Comments » [...]

    2. Pickled Politics » Rupees for questions, blogger shtyle

      [...] Lastly - following up on our Imperial College piece, the uni have cracked under surprisingly-vocal-for-Imperial student pressure and caved on the hoodie/face cover ban. I wasn’t challenged once when I wore a hoodie there, although I never launched my main plan of sporting a bulky rucksack and beard. What’s odd is that they’ve also recanted their call for ID cards to be shown. What the hell? How is that unreasonable? [...]

    1. shihab — on 23rd November, 2005 at 8:07 pm  

      “One of the senior staff members complained that it was unacceptable for the girls to have their faces covered when speaking to patients and I agreed.”

      It was alright for George Clooney in ER.

      And crikey, if students have to follow a dress code that’s anything less than avant garde tryhard then there really is no hope for future generations…

    2. The Don — on 23rd November, 2005 at 8:12 pm  

      But will they continue to sell the hoodies?

    3. j0nz — on 23rd November, 2005 at 8:13 pm  

      Now I’m off to drink for 24 hours…starting from midnight!

      Bars actually staying open TONIGHT?! My local says starting 24th …

    4. squared — on 23rd November, 2005 at 8:27 pm  

      They STILL sell the hoodies. Mate bought one last week.

      All this increased security is one thing, but it really seems to serve no purpose.

      Yea. Imperial College are on Al-Qaeda’s top ten target list. Slightly arrogant?

      And anyways, we can’t wear hoodies in the name of security, but they’ll happily let any tom, dick or harry join the rifle club.

      Yea. Let students play with guns. That’ll encourage non terrorist behaviour.

      I wear my hoodie. If anyone asks me to take it off, I’ll quickly point out that it says “Imperial College” on the front.

      I refuse to wear my security card though (I choose who I divulge my name and department to, thanks). If staff aren’t wearing it, I sure as hell won’t give in. :|

      I want to see how they deal with women covering their faces.

    5. squared — on 23rd November, 2005 at 8:29 pm  

      And stop boo hissing at Felix. :@

    6. StrangelyPsychedelique — on 23rd November, 2005 at 9:04 pm  

      Top Ten Al Q targets:

      EMPIRE state building

      EMPIRE cinema

      IMPERIAL college

      IMPERIAL war musee

      The dustbins at Poplar DLR station (now removed)


      A connexionne.



      Nice article as per ususal!

    7. Sunny — on 23rd November, 2005 at 11:48 pm  

      My gut reaction would be that if you wish to dress like that, you are automatically distancing yourself from Western society where the face plays a key role in all interactions, so should you really be complaining about quite rational rules?

      I agree with that. If they’re going to wear a niqaab, then they’ve made a decision and organisations should not be forced to change rules just for that.

      I bet the chimpanzees from Hizb ut-Tahrir are going to try the “but its central to our religion” rubbish again.

    8. Yusuf Smith — on 23rd November, 2005 at 11:59 pm  

      I bet the chimpanzees from Hizb ut-Tahrir are going to try the “but its central to our religion” rubbish again.

      In my experience, HT’s women don’t normally wear niqab. It’s worn by conservative Subcontinentals and by some Wahhabis. The main counter-arguments should really be that (a) the terrorist threat was known about long before July and (b) the women involved don’t harm anyone and there has never been a security incident in this country involving niqabs. There has been petty crime and intimidation in some areas involving hooded chavs, that’s all. And I’m not familiar with IC’s student population; how chavvy are they?

    9. Siddharth — on 24th November, 2005 at 12:32 am  

      Pragmatically: There are rules of engagement that come with any culture and here the niqab is counter-productive.

      Theologically: Its not mandatory and its not even traditional, its cultural. We are in a time and place where women have to perform the same tasks as men, so why do they have to veil themselves?

    10. Sunny — on 24th November, 2005 at 1:21 am  

      Yusuf - I don’t buy the counter-argument. Just because there hasn’t been a security incident yet doesn’t preclude there won’t be one. Why can’t there be no compromise from Muslims when it isn’t a necessity?

      HuT may not have anyone who wears a full niqaab, but then spun the same argument in the Shamina Begum case. Even then the MCB and others admitted the full dress was not compulsory.

    11. Tanvir — on 24th November, 2005 at 1:32 am  

      I dont belive the full dress is compulsory for Muslims, although I do see the teaching and theories behind it and respect women for the reasons behind why they wear it. As far as I understand from the teachings behind it, hijab (just covering the head) is compulsory.

      Some Sikhs say the growing of hair / wearing turban is optional, whilst other say its compulsory. Some like to take the middle ground - keep a turban but shave their faces. Its all about respecting other’s beliefs.

      I cannot see why Hijab would be banned, women can don hijabs with business suits and look very smart and professonal…

      Why sould veiling themseleves stop women from doing the same tasks as men?? most would argue that it would help with them doing the same tasks as men, cos they would only be seen for thier abilities and personalities rather than for their beauty, or figure. Many girls i know who begin wearing hijab say that for the first time they notice people takign them more seriously, and speaking to thier faces!

    12. shihab — on 24th November, 2005 at 1:51 am  

      “the women involved don’t harm anyone and there has never been a security incident in this country involving niqabs. ”

      From The Sun’s Anila Baig in Asiana magazine
      “I was in London in the aftermath of the bombings and I got some lunatic ranting and raving at me, going on about ‘f***ing Muslim suicide bombers’. It was really embarrassing and scary, and put me off coming back to London, although I’ve changed my mind since then. For some reason these ignorant abusers pick on women wearing headscarves, not the guys with beards.”

    13. gunduwhitegirl — on 24th November, 2005 at 2:14 am  

      This is a slippery slope don’t you think. Once you start making exceptions for one person where do you stop? Then, you’re going to have some nut case guy out there who says “Just because I’m a man and can’t wear a burka doesn’t mean I should have to show my face.” And, claim sexual discrimination.

      Don’t laugh. We had a case like this in my law class. He didn’t want to show his face on his driver’s license.

      I think there are limits…studying is one thing. But, when it comes to abiding by the laws everyone else has to abide by — why should there be an exception? If I’m cashing a check at the grocers how do I know it’s you if no ID? Same with a credit card — what if yours got stolen and the cashier didn’t ask for ID?

      Honestly, I’d be miffed if I went to the ER and my doctor’s face was covered.

    14. gunduwhitegirl — on 24th November, 2005 at 2:18 am  


      Did they give a reason? Sounds to me like they are just trying to even the playing field. Has anyone tried to enforce it?

      Have they banned hats also? I can’t imagine - are your winters cold? It just makes sense to wear hoodies in the winter.

    15. shihab — on 24th November, 2005 at 2:23 am  

      gundu, you appear not to be familiar with the bluewater shopping mall hoodie ban. Here’s a couple of links you might find revealing 05/hoodie-bans-inevitable-success.html

    16. squared — on 24th November, 2005 at 2:33 am  

      Imperial are as far from chavvy as you can get.

      We’re typical trampy students. The occasional one will try to express themselves with crazy dress, or, God forbid, even wash - but other than that, we’re a really, really, undangerous looking bunch.

      We’re the kids the rest of you bastards probably picked on in school. :(


      We’re the loners hence it’s likely one of us is bound to turn into a terrorist.

      Smart man, that rector (!)

    17. gunduwhitegirl — on 24th November, 2005 at 4:36 am  

      Shihab, thanks for the links. I was unaware of the hoodie ban. How completely bizarre. I guess I was off in my statment.

      I can’t believe there would be a ban on hoodies. Still don’t see how hoodies contribute to crime.

      Do you think that this could be an evolution from all the videotape surviellance you guys are under already? Like, the government feels they can just take more of your liberties from you?

    18. shihab — on 24th November, 2005 at 5:37 am  

      yeah, they probably did see a video. of a rapper that scared them probably.

      what amazing part of the world are you from gundu? I want to go there

    19. Jez — on 24th November, 2005 at 9:46 am  

      My uni sells Hoodies with the uni emblem - you know those american style one’s . And the only people that buy them are the foreign American students !

    20. Stephen — on 24th November, 2005 at 10:31 am  

      I don’t think the terrorist point is relevant.

      I think though it is unacceptable to cover your face completely if you wish to work with the public- especially in the NHS.

      It always makes me feel uncomfortable when I see someone wearing a Burkha. Then I feel uncomfortable about feeling uncomfortable thinking I should maybe be more tolerant. BUT i really don’t like it. It seesm inappropriate like walking through Riyadh in a bikini.

    21. Iain — on 24th November, 2005 at 11:51 am  

      I agree with Stephen on the Burkha and veiling women in general. Although I can sympathise with any woman wanting to express their piety and I believe it to be a ‘human right’ the burka and/or veil is carrying things too far when it is ripped from its very narrow cultural context.

      I’m loathe to refer to Matthew Paris here but he had a point in the article he produced for the Times a few months back.

      It is actually an insult, in fact, to non-muslims.

      The door swings both ways and all that. And I’m not talking about MP there.

    22. Vikrant — on 24th November, 2005 at 12:22 pm  

      No hoodies! that half my wardrobe banned. Its high time those imbeciles at University of London realise difference between hoodies and veils.

    23. Vikrant — on 24th November, 2005 at 12:26 pm  

      BTW i’ll certainly not be seeing a doc whos in hoodies

    24. Mirax — on 24th November, 2005 at 12:48 pm  

      Andrew Anthony’s NOV 20 article in the Observer on the increasing tendency of european muslim women to don the niqab post 9/11 is very, very good. He asked some pertinent questions and some of the inconsistencies and hypocrisy of the niqab wearers’ arguments were exposed.,6903,1646389,00.html

    25. sonia — on 24th November, 2005 at 12:52 pm  

      how come we haven’t heard of this anywhere else? an infringement on personal liberties we may expect from silly old conservative councils but a university??? who would have thought hoodies posed a problem at Uni anyway? i thought councils thought the problem with ‘hoodies’ is that they caused trouble and probably played truant..

      ill have to look into this! also - is the hijab ban like the french thing - or is it more qualified e.g. in a lab environment or somewhere with fire hazards or sth..

      ( i only say that because in Kuwait, at the university in chem labs and places - if you had a whole thing that covered you completely up - it was considered dangerous in terms of catching fire - a ‘headscarf’ was fine but you couldn’t cover your nose - some health stuff..) of course some people made a fuss.. but a fairly different situation from the french case i’d say .

    26. sonia — on 24th November, 2005 at 1:01 pm  

      ah having read your article properly i think i see what i wanted to know..

      its a bit of a silly reaction to hoodies i think - its not like you can’t see them still! the thing about ‘facial’ veil i think is not unreasonable- i suppose by ‘facial’ veil people mean the thing that only reveals the eyes!

      and i think if anyone wants to be reasonably within what they feel is their ‘religious needs’ a headscarf which doesn’t obscure your face is quite a nice compromise…after all it doesn’t sound like Imperial is being as reactionary as those silly French schools were.

      I dont think the full burqa or facial veil thing has anything to do with distancing ‘western society - i think you’re pretty much distancing yourself from all society in that case - not just western! Its simply a misconception that most women in muslim countries go to those lengths - they don’t. some women who do cover themselves up 100% are sending a clear signal to everyone - either they’re conforming to some very strict mullah type’s idea of how they should be covered - or they just felt like it. its not the ‘norm’ of what is considered modest- i’m sorry if im offending anyone - but ‘moderate’ muslims over the rest of the world ( i dont know about here..) think much the same. ( im not including hardline Iranian mullahs or saudi mullahs in this description of ‘moderates’!)

    27. sonia — on 24th November, 2005 at 1:02 pm  

      p.s. i dont know about imperial being the ‘second’ most stuck up uni! who’s no. 1 then? oxford or cambridge? and what about LSE - i’d say they’re pretty stuck up as well.

    28. krazie — on 24th November, 2005 at 1:53 pm  

      Personally, i’m more scared of students in pringle jumpers and converse trainers.

    29. sonia — on 24th November, 2005 at 1:56 pm  

      heh heh good one

    30. Maharajah Ranjit Singh — on 24th November, 2005 at 2:11 pm  

      Your medical school was right to ban students from covering their face with a veil when they are working with patients.

      The whole point of the doctor patient relationship is based on establishing trust and reassurance. Covering the face obliterates this balance. It would prevent the ethical open exchange of human experience. At times of diagnosis patients look to their doctor for help and advice and the doctor must always be approachable and open.

      Wearing a burka is a denial of that contract between doctor and patient.

      Hijabs and other religious items that do not obscure the face are absolutely fine. Face veils are not.

      It seems as though the Islamic Society at this university was seeking to push the boundaries of the dress code too far - its agenda being to push the conservative Islamic dress to every corner it can.

      But we have to face up to certain things. As a Sikh, I can never work for a tobacco company, because my religious ethics disallow and tobacco is absolutely banned to me. Some Sikh shopkeepers sell cigarettes - some dont. It depends on their observance and personal ethics.

      However, I would never complain that some avenues of employment are closed to me because of this. Students who wish to wear the burqa also have to understand that one of the things they cannot do is wear the face veil and be a medical student. It violates the patient-doctor manner and is disrespectful to the patient.

      A hijab is acceptable and fine. Sometimes, you have to choose what is more important to you, and do so without claiming discrimination or adding it to the big bonfire of persecution and discrimination that some ‘representative bodies’ are constantly in search of - it is instances like this that medical schools and other institutions have to be strong about their principles and defend the rights of patients to be treated with courtesy and respect.

    31. SajiniW — on 24th November, 2005 at 2:14 pm  

      Imperial College’s student newspaper - Felix are going to be on the ITV London news at 630pm today.

      Watch this if you want to know our take on the matter.

    32. BevanKieran — on 24th November, 2005 at 3:07 pm  


      UCL CHEM. DEPT have been hosting a series of lectures this week on behalf of the Islamic Society. On Friday, guest speaker is Taji Mustufa, Media Representative, of Hizb ut Tahrir at 4.15 p.m Ingold Building, Gordon Street.
      I will be pasting info leaflets about HT, to make the denizens of the department (including the head who may or may not consider the idea of cancelling the lecture depending on his views of fascist organisations) slightly more aware of what HT are about.

      If the lecture goes ahead any suggestions of a question for Taji?

    33. Maharajah Ranjit Singh — on 24th November, 2005 at 3:28 pm  

      Bevan Kieran

      Ask him about their anti-semitsim and their politics of hate - google hizb ut tahrir + anti semitsim + racism and you’ll probably find some quotes.

      If you use a little rhetorical skill it wont be hard to get them tied up in their putrid denial of justification for 7/7 bombing,

      You should hand out leaflets generally pointing out that Hizb ut Tahrir are on the same level as the BNP - not just those attending the lecture but people generally on the campus so that they know what little racists and fascists are coming to visit them - and hand them to the Hizb supporters too and all those like yourself who are going along to see whats happening.

      Well done on confronting them, by the way.

    34. Rohin — on 24th November, 2005 at 3:48 pm  

      Dammit I’m on call Friday or I would’ve been there. I miss heated uni-debates, which brings me nicely onto the topic of LSE…

      “and what about LSE - i’d say they’re pretty stuck up as well.”

      As my future wife is an LSE alumnus, I think LSE is nothing short of lovely and fluffy and gorgeous etc. (Cambridge are the most stuck up sonia. They act like morons when someone rejects them)

      For a non-social science student I used to be wowed by the passion at LSE - it was like a microcosm of the world at large. The Palestinian Soc would set up their stand next to the Israeli Association and sparks were sure to fly. The Hellenic-Cypriot and the TurkSoc hated each other. Toilet graffiti was not about gay sex, it was stuff like “FREEDOM FOR THE BASQUE SEPARATISTS!” But my faves were the perpetual invasion of Asian talks by these nutball Khalistanis.

      Here’s an extract from a letter I wrote to a student paper a few weeks ago Bevan:

      I did just want to briefly question the rather neutral stance on Hizb ut-Tahrir and the exposure given to Dr Waheeb. Hizb ut-Tahrir may unfortunately become a cause celebre due to the poor case the government made for banning them. However let’s not be under the delusion that they are a friendly bunch.

      As Bindiya Yagnik pointed out, the NUS banned them on the charge of anti-Semitism. Despite them denying this, Fadi Abdelatif, a spokesman for the group was found guilty only 3 years ago of distributing literature advising Muslims that “The Jews are a people of slander” and to “kill them wherever you find them”. At the heart of their aims is the creation of an Islamic caliphate, in which only political parties “established on the basis of Islam” are to be permitted and the caliph can only ever be a Muslim man, elected by Muslims.

      j0nz, you were right. I got my hopes up too early! But tonight…I want to be the debauched face on TV when they say “Why the new drinking laws were a MISTAKE”

    35. Jai Singh — on 24th November, 2005 at 4:11 pm  

      To extrapolate some of the things Rohin has said:

      1. Ask HuT what their explicit plans are for the Middle East, countries in the rest of the world which have a substantial Muslim population, and the world as a whole (including the United Kingdom). Don’t let them wriggle out of answering the last point in particular.

      2. Ask them if they think the terrorists in both 9/11 and 7/7 were justified in their actions, including how they rationalise this in the context of Islamic injunctions forbidding attacks on civilian non-combatants, along with asking them what they think happened to the terrorists after they died.

      3. Ask them explicitly about their interpretation of the word “Kafir”, along with asking them to confirm whether it is just a figure of speech or actually a derogatory term.

    36. raz — on 24th November, 2005 at 4:24 pm  

      HuT guys are total nutters. In many ways, Hut is very much like a cult which brainwashes its followers. They all seem to spout the same pre-programmed ‘Khalifah is our only hope’ spiel with robotic precision.

    37. BevanKieran — on 24th November, 2005 at 4:47 pm  

      Thanks for the response guys and I take on board your points.

      I am generally not a pro-active in this sort of politics unless it is in my neighbourhood. I wouldn’t actively seek a confrontation with the Islamic Society, but HT are scum (on a par with BNP) and should’n't be allowed to infiltrate mainstream organisations. Well, this is a few steps away from my lab and 7/7 was within earshot of the Dept. Speaking to my Dad, he seems to think doing nothing is the best course of action. Maybe this guy, will be pooh-poohed by the audience. I have my doubts. Anecdotally, at a meeting a few years ago a French Muslim lady try to extract some kind of condemnation of the Taliban from this guy; she was dismissed.

      On thread; try contrasting staid Imperial College with bohemian UCL. It has its ups and downs, notably the fake, lower leg exposing leather trousers my supervisor used to wear.

    38. El Cid — on 24th November, 2005 at 4:52 pm  

      If I’d known what a university was and realised that I might want to go there before I was 17, I may well have chosen to go to Imperial. Still, Southampton wasn’t so bad.
      I have two questions:
      1) When progressive young Asians use the term ‘chav’ do they mean ‘po’ white trash’ or burberry/hackett-wearing, gold-chained, criminal/borderline-criminal, anti-social, anti-education teenagers in general, regardless of race/creed?
      2) And when you say stuck-up, do you mean public-school educated?
      Just curious

    39. Vikrant — on 24th November, 2005 at 5:34 pm  

      El Cid i dont claim to speak for all Asians, but most Asian guys around me regard Chavs and Scalys as a totally white thingy even though a few Asians are known to associate with the nutters. As for second one… umm.. yes.

    40. sonia — on 24th November, 2005 at 6:52 pm  

      yes don’t get me wrong Rohin - no offence to your lovely wife ! - there are plenty of stuck up types too. And yes its great how the radical edge has survived in an institution which half is being pulled one way and the other firmly wanting to go down the corporate kiss-ass route. Which is a shame. but there are still lots of radicals -young and old about. which is cool.

      confrontations with islamic societies should happen when they’re talking bollocks. yes it doesn’t make you very popular but so what.

      i for one enjoyed them thoroughly!

    41. sonia — on 24th November, 2005 at 6:54 pm  

      i meant lovely future wife - so congratulations are in order!

    42. sonia — on 24th November, 2005 at 6:57 pm  

      good questions El Cid. all these classifications - its hard to keep up with them.

      i think its very important to challenge HuT types. yes they will try to dismiss you but too many people have let them get away with their nonsense - and eventually a lot of people don’t know what’s nonsense and what’s not.

    43. El Cid — on 24th November, 2005 at 7:36 pm  

      Well, I’m a little disappointed but not entirely surprised by your first answer Vikrant (although, as you said, you dont speak for others).
      The term chav really isn’t ethnocentric. It is thought to have originated in Kent and became popular among middle-class people to describe less educated, anti-social, graceless and generally poorer members of society. It’s about snobbery. Race didn’t come into.
      It’s still nothing to be roud of, but amusing nonetheless.
      I can only imagine that when non-white people came into contact with the term and saw that whites were primarily the target they must have assumed that it was a whites-only term.
      C’mon, if we all put our minds to it I bet we could all come up with plenty of examples of Asian and Black, or even Moslem, chavs.
      As someone recently wrote on , “it doesn’t matter what colour you are, you can still be a wanker.”
      I mean for fuck’s sake, check this guy out.
      Free the chav. You might find it liberating. (as in HuT chav perhaps?)

    44. Vikrant — on 24th November, 2005 at 7:42 pm  

      Well actually the reason the percentage of chavs in Asians or Indians atleast is very low is since many of us prize education pretty much. Most British Indians who do their GCSE’s go on to do their A Levels and eventually get a university degree.

    45. El Cid — on 24th November, 2005 at 7:48 pm  

      Now now Vikrant. Don’t get touchy. That’s not a very educated and progressive answer is it? Are you implying that there is a race-based Chav league? You’re opening a social Darwinist can of worms…

    46. Vikrant — on 24th November, 2005 at 7:53 pm  

      its not race based or anything…
      Oh yes India is filled with people you can call chavs but most Indian who’ve immigrated to Britain are decent folk.

    47. Vikrant — on 24th November, 2005 at 7:53 pm  

      BTW i find extremely a bit partisan. Well many chavs these days hail from the middle class rather than the working classes as the site would want us to believe.

      For non-British readers here Chavs are similar to hippies except they can be termed as criminal hippies.

    48. Vikrant — on 24th November, 2005 at 7:54 pm  

      BTW El Cid theres no such thing as race. Chavs arent born they are made. It all depend on atmosphere.

    49. El Cid — on 24th November, 2005 at 8:12 pm  

      So you’re agreeing with me, Vikrant, that chavs are not necessarily white then? Good. Glad that’s sorted.
      Yes, it is a partisan site. As I said, it is about snoberry (did I spell that right? Doesn’t look right). And I while I may sometimes use the term jokingly, I can also feel uncomfortable when it is overused by others to mask a plethora of prejudices (you see, coming from the white immigrant underclass I could be called it by some stuck-up people, even though I too am highly educated).
      Are you sure there aren’t any British Indian chavs at all? No one? Just a teeny weeny one?
      Yes, I agree, chavs are not born they are made. I blame crap dads.
      There’s no such thing as race? I wish it were true (or at least I wish we thought in terms of just one race — the human race).

    50. Vikrant — on 24th November, 2005 at 8:22 pm  

      erhm.. sorry for the typos. i’ve been spending too much time on compy this evening.

      Are you sure there aren’t any British Indian chavs at all? No one? Just a teeny weeny one?

      Well none that i know of. But it depend on your definition of a chav. Some teens who appear quite decent may smoke crack, whlist others even with their chav accessories and looks stay clean.

    51. El Cid — on 24th November, 2005 at 8:42 pm  

      One last thing: criminal hippies?? Um, not sure that works.
      I can’t imagine veggie chavs, to be honest. Hey, maybe that’s why there are no British Hindu chavs?? Hee hee

    52. jamal — on 24th November, 2005 at 11:43 pm  

      This is disgusting. On one hand I accept the security measures. But on the other, it infringes the rights of people. Its been done in europe with hijabs and in bluewater with hoodies. If securities such a problem then why not increase security techniques and stop putting the emphasis on innocent people.

      Furthermore, hoodies can be taken done whereas veils cannot. I wonder how many security or terrorist theats have taken place in the uni by veiled women?

    53. Sunny — on 25th November, 2005 at 3:55 am  

      The hijab is different to the niqaab though Jamal. See Maharajah Ranjit Singh’s point.

      If securities such a problem then why not increase security techniques and stop putting the emphasis on innocent people.
      Huh? This is a security measure mate. It usually involves more stringent requirements on innocent people. That’s the way it goes sometimes.

      bloody HuT! I’m gonna be writing another article on them soon.
      David T from HP wrote one here:

      The media and other organisation are so stupid sometimes, thinking they represent most Muslims. Grrrr…

    54. BevanKieran — on 25th November, 2005 at 2:50 pm  

      A colleague and I spoke to the Union Officers. They were really helpful, and had already received a number of complaints, particularly from the Jewish Society. I think it struck home to the student officer if CHEMISTS are agitated into political action then there must be a problem.

      (There seemed to be a pattern of islamic societies picking controversial speakers on Friday afternoons when Jewish students are unable to participate.) In previous years the Union has pulled several speakers from HT. They are about to pull the speaker from Hizb-ut-Tahrir.

      Wahey!!! Two fingers in the face of fascism.

      There are several issues arising from this which might make vaguely interesting posts for P.P…

      1)The council, in good conscious, were hesistant in offending wider Muslim opinion by pulling the speaker.(He was invited by the mainstream Islamic Society and not a fringe society)

      2)Confusion about the implementation of NUS resolutions at the university level.

      3)The lack of understanding of extremist Muslim groups operating in the Uni. I spent a small amount of time trying to explain to the head of the department that Hizb-ut-Tahrir were not Hizbullah.

      4)Most people in University are right-thinking, liberal and were appalled by the sample of Hizbie literature which means …. trying to build , with help from other societies, a consensus on HT and other extremist parties in the department should be easy.

    55. Waris — on 25th November, 2005 at 4:01 pm  

      Imperial College has produced a few terrorist itself.

    56. Mirax — on 25th November, 2005 at 4:12 pm  

      Imperial College has produced a few terrorist itself.

      Yes. Lest we forget.

    57. BevanKieran — on 25th November, 2005 at 4:48 pm  


      Speech went ahead with speaker from Hut.

    58. Rohin — on 26th November, 2005 at 2:13 pm  

      Ah shit Bevan, sorry your admirable efforts didn’t affect the outcome. How did it go?

      Two things I wanted to say from ages ago (and not really relevant anymore):

      Do I mean public-school-background when I say stuck up? No I don’t. Public school graduates are cool and you know it. I mean the uni itself being stuck up. Like Imperial thinking they are too good for the NUS (they’re not members) and now they are leaving the University of London. They continually bleat on about how they are too good for everyone else.

      And chavs come in all colours. Whilst Burberry may be more prevalent amongst white chavs, Moschino rules the roost with Asian chavs. Except they may be referred to as RUDEBOYS. Chavs, rudies…all the same to me. Scum.

    59. El Cid — on 26th November, 2005 at 9:13 pm  

      Some of my best friends are public schoolers (!)
      I wouldn’t say they were especially cool mind.
      But then, like most people, I do have chav tendencies. There, I’ve said it. I’m not ashamed. I’ve watched Eastenders, had a Maccie Ds and worn a Tacchini tracksuit in my youth.

    60. Sunny — on 26th November, 2005 at 9:36 pm  

      Ha ha!

      *points at El-Cid and laughs like that kid in Simpsons*

      (I used and still wear Moschino :( )

      Bevan - That is truly annoying and frustrating. When the new laws about inciting terrorism etc come in I hope this will be a lot easier.

    61. Rohin — on 26th November, 2005 at 9:45 pm  

      “like that kid in Simpsons”

      Pah. You call yourself a fan?! Nelson man, Nelson!

    62. BevanKieran — on 26th November, 2005 at 10:33 pm  

      Same old hizbie; four wives good, one wife bad malarky. That the “Muslim world” would be converted into paradise if the caliphate was restored and most amusingly slavery (of the defeated) would be inevitable consequence of successful wars.

      Sunny, in a curious way if both the anti-terror and religous hatred laws are passed, there may be circumstances (in Unis) where the freedom of speech of extremist religous organisations and those who would criticise them may be both curtailed.

    63. Sunny — on 26th November, 2005 at 10:39 pm  

      Bevan - how so?

      Rohin - shut it :$

    64. BevanKieran — on 26th November, 2005 at 10:51 pm  

      I suppose its in the grey areas. For example, if I was to initiate an awareness campaign about HuT, what material could I use before I would run the risk of discriminating Muslims in general. Is criticism of sharia law legitimate?

    65. Rohin — on 26th November, 2005 at 10:56 pm  

      Criticism of anti-Semitism and sexism is legit. Sure you have to watch your tongue so as not to piss off touchy Muslims, but as long as you highlight the bullshit they spout, you shouldn’t be affected by the new law.

      Although I still think life would be better without it.

    66. jamal — on 26th November, 2005 at 11:48 pm  

      lol @ “chav scum”

      whats wrong with moschino?

      On the topic though (sunny’s point). Yes niqab may be different from hijab, but its still not a reason to ban it as a security measure. I wonder how many veiled women have been involved in security threats at the uni, or terrorist/intruders posing as veiled women? If the answer is zero, then why use a measure that infringes religious rights, when employing more security personell would surely do the job. It all sounds silly to me, even hoodies dont always cover the face, or cause a person to be unrecognisable.

    67. Siddharth — on 27th November, 2005 at 12:04 am  

      Criticism of anti-Semitism and sexism is legit. Sure you have to watch your tongue so as not to piss off touchy Muslims

      Only Muslims? Every possible religious and interest group has a touchy contingent that is well represented on PP. I’ve seen run ins with touchy Hindus, Sikhs, Jains, Rajputs, Tamils, desi Yanks etc. I, of course represent touchy buddhist muslim smokers.

    68. Rohin — on 27th November, 2005 at 12:07 am  

      Yes yes Sid but he was asking about pissing off Muslims so that’s why I mentioned them in particular.

      I represent touchy atheists. Insult my lack of God and Darwin will strike you down.

    69. Sunny — on 27th November, 2005 at 12:11 am  

      if I was to initiate an awareness campaign about HuT, what material could I use before I would run the risk of discriminating Muslims in general

      even if you were raising awareness about Muslim groups, that does not in any way run foul of the impending law. In fact you could slate HuT as much as you want and still be fine (as long as you don’t libel or slander in which case they could sue). Your only worry is to incite murder of Muslims, which I’m sure you won’t be doing ;)

    70. Siddharth — on 27th November, 2005 at 12:30 am  


      Will any Muslims be involved in your “awareness campaign” about the HT? Unless you do these studies tend to be weakened by the perception, real or otherwise, of being one-sided.

    71. Siddharth — on 27th November, 2005 at 1:07 am  

      Did anyone make it to the Ayaan Hirsi Ali talk at the ICA on Friday? Haven’t read any first hand reports about it yet.

    72. BevanKieran — on 27th November, 2005 at 7:20 am  


      To expose HT for the wankers they are should be a duty to anyone, irrespective of their race or religion, concerned enough about anti-semitism, anti-hindu and anti-sikh sentiments, anti-feminism and homophobia. A grand coalition of various societies and departments would be ideal.

      In case you are wondering, I would do the same if the BNP, hinutva extremists were given a platform in my department. (extremely NIMBY) especially when it is done by societies which should be promoting a positive image of the members they represent.(In this case UCL Islam Soc).

    73. Siddharth — on 27th November, 2005 at 12:09 pm  

      Good luck to you. But beware of efforts that end up preaching to the converted and the Islamophobes. The
      thing to do would be to make the Muslim community aware of HT without turning them off. Most of the people who join the HT are young impressionable folk who think they are doing something good for the community at large and the Ummah as a whole. Thats the HT oxygen supply and you want to cut that off - not offer more specious anti-Muslim guff.
      But you knew that…;-)

    74. El Cid — on 27th November, 2005 at 12:46 pm  

      I think Siddarth makes a very imp point. A grand coalition etc would be great but without sig and visible Moslem input the message/campaign will not be as effective as it could be. That’s just the way it is.
      I am reminded of the McCarthy sisters and IRA thuggery/criminality. The fact they were Catholic and not Protestant made them very effective campaigners. It of course also helped that they were bloody minded and brave too.
      I would add that the climate in Northern Ireland had changed in the wake of a long ceasefire and 9/11. There was less of a willingness within Catholic circles to close ranks. I think it’s human instinct to side with the tribe when there are tensions/grievances, but as we all know that can lead to a state of denial. Overcoming that takes a long time, unfortunately. So, as Siddarth says, it is important not to be seen as one-sided.
      Still, I salute you. Good luck with your efforts.

    75. jamal — on 28th November, 2005 at 10:08 am  

      Found two interesting articles regarding this issue, with pangs of similarities to this “security measure”!

      article 1, article 2

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