From Wales on Line
CARDIFF Council has cancelled an Islamic conference due to be held in one of its buildings after it discovered the audience would be segregated.
Organisers have accused the council of religious discrimination after they scrapped the conference given only 24 hours’ notice.
The meeting entitled “Islam – from revelation to implementation” was due to take place from 4pm today at County Hall in Cardiff Bay.
But Cardiff Council yesterday cancelled the event because organisers intended to segregate men and women at the three-hour long conference by ensuring the two sexes sat apart on each side of the room.
Abu Hajar, spokesman for organisers Islamic Path, said: “The conference has been booked for months and at the time of booking we were told segregation would be fine. I know other private functions have been held at County Hall in the past by members of the ethnic community and there has been segregation. The council is discriminating against us because of our religious beliefs.”
A Cardiff Council spokeswoman said: “The booking for this event was cancelled on the basis that the event’s organisers wish to segregate men and women attending. Such an event on council premises would be wholly inconsistent with the council’s gender equality duty and the event organisers have been notified accordingly.”
Last week the Echo was contacted by members of a protest group which had intended to demonstrate outside County Hall today.
More than 100 people were expected to attend the protest because of suggestions the controversial Muslim leader Anjem Choudary and members of the recently-reformed Islamic sect Al Muhajiroun were going to be guest speakers at the conference.
An e-mail circulated among the protest group’s members said: “This is not a racial matter, it’s about the lovers of terrorism preaching their hate in our land.”
But Abu Hajar has denied members of Al Muhajiroun were due to speak at the conference and said the decision to cancel the event would be bad for community relations.
He added: “There was not going to be anything controversial about the conference. This is only going to make things worse between the Islamic community and the rest of Cardiff because once again we are being portrayed negatively.”
For some reason I am thinking of something in Gwyn Jones' "Welsh Legends and Folktales" (1955; 1956), from the third section 'Tales Old and New', the story 'Where Arthur Sleeps'.
In this story a Wise Man and a Welshman enter a cave in Craig-y-Dinas. There they see, "Hanging from the passage roof was a bronze bell the size of a beehive, with a clanger as long as your arm, and the Wise Man begged the Welshman on no account to touch it, for if he did, disaster would surely follow.
'Soon they reached the main cave...it was filled with warriors in bright armour and asleep on the floor. There was an outer ring of a thousand men, and an inner ring of a hundred, their heads to the wall and their feet to the centre, each with sword, shield, battle-axe and spear; and outermost of all lay their horses...And in the middle of them all lay a king and emperor at rest, as they knew by the splendour of his array and the jewelled crown beneath his hand and the awe and majesty of his person."
A little later on in the tale, "Who are these warriors?' asked the Welshman. 'And who is their sleeping king?
'"The King is Arthur, and those that surround him are the men of the Island of the Mighty.
'They sleep with their steeds and their arms because a day will come when land and sky shall cower at the clamour of a host,
'and the bell will tremble and ring, and then those warriors will ride out with Arthur at their head, and drive their foes headlong into the sea, and there shall be justice and peace among men for as long as the world endures.'"
Perhaps the bell in the Cave of the Sleepers is beginning to tremble..
Hmmm. "Do not tickle a sleeping dragon" (Hogwarts motto). Looks like the Dragon of Wales is stirring in its sleep; and the Muslims just got a sharp nip.
Kudos to Cardiff Council for sticking to principles - *western principles*.
If one thinks about it: the obsessive and frequently forcible segregation of women from men (which leads, in the end, to the almost total exclusion of women from public life and their suppression and shackling) is one of the mainstays of sharia societies.
Whereas one of the markers of all free western societies (and indeed of many modern *non-western* non-Muslim societies) is that women usually mix in public with men and nobody thinks twice about it.
Cardiff Council has restated and defended one of our fundamental principles. Good on them.
'“The conference has been booked for months and at the time of booking we were told segregation would be fine."
Which dhimmi-dimwit told the annoying little bookers that? Doesn't Cardiff's council staff know that we do not have segregation in this islands?
I know this annoys so many muslims, but we are not yet an Islamic state and the laws of the UK override their ambitions.
Also, I always assumed that a conference was an exchange of ideas. As Islam cannot conceive of any ideas other than their own, I think describing it more as a sermon or rant would be more accurate.
"Muslims refuse to use alcohol-based gels over religious beliefs"
And to hell with the health of other people.