Britons afraid to challenge radical Islam, says former Obama adviser

Photo: The Telegraph

Lawrence Krauss

British people are too afraid to offend a “vocal and aggressive” section of the Muslim community who demand that their cultural values are accepted by wider society, according to a former adviser to Barack Obama.

Professor Lawrence Krauss said he had been shocked when taking part at a debate hosted by an Islamic group at a leading British university to find that men and women were segregated.

The professor, a leading physicist and prominent atheist, threatened to walk out unless organisers agreed to let men and women sit together, which was eventually agreed – but was then astonished to find himself being accused of intolerance by angry members of the audience.

He said there had been no such problems when he recently took part in a similar debate in Australia.

But he suggested in Britain people were often too polite to object to such practices as well as being cowed by those eager to protest whenever they felt “their cultural norms are not being met”.

He said: “People are not only afraid to offend, but afraid to offend a vocal and aggressive group of people.

“There is a segment of the Islamic community that is very vocal about this.”

The professor said: “I think the notion that these cultural norms should be carried out within a broader society that not only doesn’t share them but that is free and open is a very serious problem.”

Authorities at University College London have launched an investigation into the event last Saturday, at which people who attended were separated into men, women and coupled seating areas – with women at the back.

The event was organised by a group called the Islamic Education and Research Academy, which has now been banned from holding events on the UCL campus.

Professor Krauss, who served on Mr Obama’s science policy committee during his 2008 election campaign, was taking part in a debate entitled: “Islam or Atheism: Which Makes More Sense?”


The Telegraph has the full article

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