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Uh-oh spaghetti-o’s: more censorious stupidity

According to the urban dictionary the phrase ‘uh-oh spaghetti-o’s’ may be glossed:

An exclamation made after the realization one has fucked up beyond repair.

This time the culprits are London South Bank University.  They have just had this poster banned because it is claimed it is ‘offensive’:

SBAS displayed the well-known image of the FSM on their pre-prepared stall the day before the freshers’ fair last week but when they returned to the stall the following day found that the posters had been removed. When they went to print some more to replace the missing posters they were stopped by union representatives who said that the posters had been deemed offensive and that it was the union that had removed them. Initially SBAS were told that it was the visibility of Adam’s genitals that was offensive but when SBAS offered to blur them out, they were told the problem was religious offence, because it was based on religious art. Their stall was removed by the student union authorities the next day and their official complaint against this action was still unanswered by the time the fair was over, preventing them from exhibiting.

There is so much religious material which could be seen as offensive either to those of other religions or those of none.  Threats of eternal torture, explicit or implicit, are commonplace sights outside churches.  With relation to Islam – even if we just look at South Bank’s track record it’s possible to find a number of truly offensive events:

In January 2012, the South Bank Islamic Society hosted Murtaza Khan at an event called ‘The Reality of this Dunya’.[5] Khan was filmed for a Channel 4 documentary describing Jews as “enemies” of Muslims, and has called homosexuality an ‘abominable action’ which should be punished by death.[6] [7]

Haitham Al-Haddad appeared at South Bank Islamic Society’s annual dinner in 2009.[8] Al-Haddad has referred to Jews as “the enemies of God, and the descendants of apes and pigs” and that Jews and Christian should be hated and avoided.[9] He supports the death penalty for apostates and stated, “Muslims should rule the entire planet with this Islamic law”.[10]

It’s outrageous that some good humoured atheist satire should be censored while truly abhorrent views are aired unchecked. Rory Fenton, President of the National Federation of Atheist, Humanist and Secular Student Societies in the UK and Ireland, has a strong piece in the Huffington Post on this latest blow to freedom of expression in our universities:

South Bank’s Atheist Society are no stranger to hostility from their students’ union. When they were formed last year and affiliated to their union, they were accepted only on the condition that they didn’t criticise religion or hold debates with religious groups, which is as absurd as telling the Socialist Society to steer clear of critiquing capitalism. Despite hopes that a new academic year would bring a more reasonable union committee, the group has faced constant opposition. Since the start of their first term, they have seen their posters torn down and stamped on the day they are put up, including posters simply showing Brian Griffin, Family Guy’s atheist talking dog. I attended a meeting last term at which their union accused them of picking on Christians for a poster stating, “We may not be able to turn water into wine but we do like wine, join us in the bar next Thursday”.

It’s not clear exactly what LSBU’s atheists are allowed to do if they are not allowed to debate, criticise or satirise.