I wrote a blog post earlier about my refusal to abide by conditions imposed by Trinity College Dublin for my speech on Apostasy and the Rise of Islamism which I am to give this Monday.

Aoife, the chair of the society which had invited me is contesting my version of things so I find it necessary (also for transparency’s sake) to post all correspondence below. There is not much since Aoife only contacted me today (well technically last night as it is 2am now) after things came to a head. Another student organiser has been in touch with me the whole time and been arranging my visit. If there is any miscommunication, it seems to have been promulgated by Aoife to “manage” the situation in the same way that they were hoping to manage me.

Even if it was Aoife who suggested a moderator, it has come about as a result of “pressure”. Also security concerns of my antagonising the “Muslim students” and being “one-sided” which were raised with student organiser have nothing to do with student security no matter how many times Aoife says it does.

Aoife is trying to manage a bad situation by blaming it on miscommunication but you know what folks, I was not born yesterday.

This reminds me of my speaking tour in 2011 Australia where I went to give my speech at the University of Western Sydney on “Sharia law & human rights”. When I got there, it had become a panel due to “pressure” and the audience were forced to listen to another view before I was even allowed to speak…

Anyway, here are the emails. The name of the student organiser has been left out at his/her request.

From: Maryam Namazie [mailto:maryamnamazie@gmail.com]
Sent: 21 March 2015 01:38
To: ‘Society for International Affairs’
Subject: RE: Speaking Engagement at Trinity College Dublin (Monday, 23rd March)

Hi Aoife

I think you are missing the point here. Of course el Mekki is given free access. In my experience there is never any question raised about Islamists as they are seen to be one and the same with “Muslims” which is untrue. It is usually raised with regards my speaking engagements, and this is not a new experience for me.

The security mentioned concerns over one-sidedness and “antagonising Muslim students” with the person who I have been in touch with all along regarding this event. Clearly such concerns are not matters of student security but the usual matter of avoiding “offence” – and it is usually us ex-Muslims that are seen to be antagonistic and not the Islamist speakers who promote our murder.
Your email tonight was the first I had received from you – someone else was organising this for me – so I am more prone to believe that it is your impression that is mistaken and not the other way around.


From: Society for International Affairs
Sent: 21 March 2015 01:02
To: Maryam Namazie
Subject: Re: Speaking Engagement at Trinity College Dublin (Monday, 23rd March)

Hi Maryam,

The situation is slightly difficult for me to comprehend as I feel we aren’t talking about the same event anymore. I think this has gone completely awry. I don’t know where you got the impression that Security were imposing restrictions on you. If that was communicated to you, I apologise as that would never happen in Trinity, and I would fight to uphold any individual’s right to express themselves freely. I also am upset that you have been given the impression that Trinity authorities are backward, on the contrary: it was never a matter of potentially causing offence, I believe that Kamal el-Mekki’s presence proves that Trinity authorities do not interfere with college society’s activities. College Security have never once asked me about the content of your speech, just who will be attending the event (Trinity students as per society rules and insurance reasons) and numbers for fire and safety reasons. They did not realise it was being facilitated by SOFIA and therefore were nervous about an individual hosting the event. But I personally cleared that and assured them that I had it under control.

I am disappointed that you are not going to be with us on Monday, and I wish you had waited until I had gotten in contact. I was attending a wake service then went for dinner and all I had was my dying mobile phone which I told [the organiser contact] I would be in contact with you tonight.

Sorry this has gone so dramatic.


On 21 March 2015 at 00:19, Maryam Namazie wrote:
Hello Aoife

Thanks for your email. The issues raised by security were clearly not about student safety but about the fear of my causing offence. Raising concerns of one-sidedness and implying my defence of the right to apostasy would be antagonising are political positions not security matters. Regardless of who added a condition of my having a chair to “moderate” me, I find that to be unacceptable. It astounding that an Islamist who defends death for apostates can speak at your college without any such issues being raised, whilst I who am one of their targets, must be “moderated” and have limitations placed on my audience. My conditions are very clear. I have mentioned them here: https://maryam.wlfserver.xyz/tcd/. I will not be coming if there are any restrictions.
I look forward to hearing back from you.
Thank you.
All the best

From: Society for International Affairs
Sent: 20 March 2015 22:41
To: maryamnamazie@googlemail.com
Subject: Speaking Engagement at Trinity College Dublin (Monday, 23rd March)

Dear Maryam,

As Chair of the Society for International Affairs (SOFIA) I am delighted to welcome to Trinity College Dublin, on Monday. I apologise for not getting in touch earlier this evening but I was away from my laptop and our first point of contact deserves more than a hasty/shoddy email sent off my phone. [The organiser contact] has done a good job so far in putting things in motion.

Just so we are on the same page, could you inform me of your expectations of your visit to Trinity, and I’ll outline the same. You may have heard earlier today Trinity Security were concerned about the safety of the university students. Due to miscommunication, I was not aware until midday today that [the organiser contact] had not passed on basic SOFIA practice of being reserved for our members to you. As such, I was more than alarmed when Trinity Security contacted me and I was put in an awkward situation where it looked as though I was in breach of Trinity’s commitment to student safety by advertising our event externally. I was not informed that you would be advertising it on your website either.

Not wanting the event to be jeopardised, I suggested that you could be joined by another, an academic Dr Andrew Pierce of the Irish School of Ecumenics in Trinity who is eager to meet you. I have asked him if he would do me the honour of chairing/introducing you. Dr Pierce’s status as member of staff also will be advantageous for SOFIA if a group of individuals log a complaint against our event on Monday as he will be in the position to speak on our behalf when the complaint is reviewed by the College Deans. I can personally vouch for Dr. Pierce’s character as a friendly party. (https://www.tcd.ie/ise/staff/a-pierce.php)

SOFIA is a young society but we pride ourselves on previously hosting speakers with varied views, but that’s what adds to the richness of our members learning.

Before I forget, are there any special requests? Sometimes our guests wish us to respect Chatham House rules and other times there have been strict measures imposed such as extensive background security checks for SOFIA members who wish to attend and metal detector scanning of attendees and their belongings.

SOFIA’s aim is to be a platform for discussion, but in a safe environment where individuals are free to express themselves without fear of being threatened after the discussion. We implement certain measures to ensure that all our guests, are afforded a courteous audience.

Looking forward to meeting you on Monday.

Best wishes,
Aoife Noelle Ngo

Society for International Affairs



  1. Maybe they need the moderator to stop you taking your top off for the lads? In the name of fake Feminsm of course.

  2. Ireland is slowly but surely setting the stage for the replacement of one theocracy by another, far more dangerous one. The 2009 blasphemy law was just the beginning.

  3. I’m saddened that your talk was cancelled, I’m an admirer of your work and as such I’m inclined to believe your interpretation of the situation.

    I particularly find the existence of two excuses for the inclusion of a chairperson to be suspicious:

    1) “If a group of individuals log a complaint against our event on Monday …[the chairperson] will be in the position to speak on our behalf when the complaint is reviewed by the College Deans” email sent by Aoife Ngo, 20 March 2015 22:41

    2) ‘To bounce off each other and have a bit of banter with the audience.’ comment by Aoife Noelle Ngo on https://maryam.wlfserver.xyz/2015/03/20/tcd/ March 21, 2015 at 1:27 am

    (And possibly a third if we consider “[College security] did not realise [your appearance] was being facilitated by SOFIA and therefore were nervous about an individual hosting the event. But I personally cleared that and assured them that I had it under control.” email sent by Aoife Ngo, 21 March 2015 01:02. The wording of this is unclear but the reading that security was concerned that yours should be the only voice is to my mind the most likely and most disturbing)

    However there are 2 issues which do confuse me.

    1) When you say the event was ‘public, advertised to external people’ do you mean it was publicised online and across campus as being open to the public?

    As an alumnus of TCD and a former member of some of its societies I can confirm that campus-wide advertisement of member-only events is the norm and it is easy for one to be confused. In my early days I was often frustrated by my attempts to hear speakers only to be turned away at the door (usually after queueing) due to my not being registered with the particular host society. This confusion and frustration worked to the benefit of the society’s coffers.

    However, as I recall there were rare exceptions where certain societies did organise public gatherings.

    Do we have any record of SOFIA’s official advertisement? Was your impression that it was to be a public speech created by your first, unnamed point of contact or (unlikely) by said advertisement?

    2) Could the cancellation of the event have also been a miscommunication?

    “I am disappointed that you are not going to be with us on Monday, and I wish you had waited until I had gotten in contact.” email sent by Aoife Ngo, 21 March 2015 01:02

    By the sending of the email above, it seems Aoife had taken your withdrawal as a fait accompli. However the wording and timing do not create a clear picture.

    Aoife had first emailed you 2 hours previously at 22:41 obviously under the impression you were still to speak on Monday. You responded on 21 March 2015 at 00:19 saying “My conditions are very clear. I have mentioned them here: https://maryam.wlfserver.xyz/2015/03/20/tcd/. I will not be coming if there are any restrictions.”

    I’ve asked Aoife on twitter to confirm whether it was this email which she took to be confirmation of your withdrawal (she hasn’t replied yet). Why she didn’t take it as an opportunity to remove the imposition of a chairperson is curious to say the least. Perhaps, thinking you had already withdrawn (like I said timing and wording doesn’t support this) she didn’t think to offer? Perhaps your insistence it be a public event, a condition impossible to meet at short notice given a small society’s limited pull in college bureaucracy, removed in Aoife’s mind any possibility of resolution?

    Like I said I am inclined to believe your interpretation, especially given the apparently rather more frank comments by the anonymous junior member of the society with whom you were liaising by telephone.

    I am seeking clarification here because of a) my experience with the ineptitude and bureaucracy to be found within TCD societies and its security, and b) my suspicion of my own confirmation bias. This furore is certainly a plausible addition to a pattern of shameful censorship of your ideas, yet there is room for falsification of this interpretation. I would be interested in your thoughts.

  4. I support your right to speak Maryam and I am deeply disappointed that the event hasn’t gone through. I hope that I get to hear you speak in Ireland soon. For anyone who says that you have no supporters haven’t been reading enough. It is Islamism which is finding it hard to hide behind anything now.

  5. Hello, this situation, when someone “rocks the boat”, shows up that those elitist, classist, or sectarian, claim authority or moral superiority over the healthy, free and open debate, it becomes clear the dishonest and weakness of logic in the fascist argument, that is why the cowardly fascists always support each other, powersharing to to keep the people under control, salam alikoum, Nár laga Dia do lámh

      1. I and thousands, if not millions of people support you Mariam. Keep up the fight. Lots of stupid people out there., unbelievable as it is. Of course, moslems are evilly clever, and we should never underestimate them. Keep our brains sharp.

        1. The problem are not Muslims – my family are Muslims! The problem as I tried to explain the article is that it is the Islamists that are being portrayed as Muslims so that they can shut down dissent – Oh it’s too late to repeat this again. We have many Muslims or those labelled as such on our side – cannot place collective blame. It’s wrong.

  6. Not surprised at the college authorities kow-towing to the Islamist lobby. They disabled a discussion on the Linkedin Alumni Group entitled “Islamic University of Dublin” prompted by Ali Selim’s outrageous views. Edmund Burke must be rolling in his grave.

  7. Maryam Namazie,You got two supporters out of 6 billion people around the world…That shows how boring and less important,and unethical,illogical person you are..This also shows your yellings are senseless.

  8. As a student of TCD, I can vouch for it being standard practice to limit attendance to events to members of the hosting society only.

    Any large society in college will typically check for membership cards and take names at the door of events, e.g. I had to sneak into the Derren Brown talk hosted by the Law Society because, while free, the event was only open to Law Society members. Similarly, the debating societies, the Hist and the Phil, have committee members checking for society cards at the door of their debates and guest speakers.

    I cannot vouch for the explanation of this as a security, insurance, or offensiveness limitation. My view was that, since student societies in TCD receive funding based on membership and funds provided by students themselves, they must be exclusive to entice new members into the society to increase their funding.

    I speak as a member of the Humanist Association of Ireland, as an ardent opponent of Islamism, and principled supporter of the right to free speech. Please reconsider your position regarding this event, I honestly do not believe it matches the pattern seen elsewhere, e.g. Brandeis university’s treatment of Ayaan Hirsi Ali. I will not be allowed to attend the event, but it is important to me that voices such as yours are represented.

    1. Society at TCD knew event was public, advertised to external people, but everything changed after that call from security. I will be writing to the University requesting an investigation and I am seeking other societies to invite me there as I will speak there this year. Mark my words!

    2. I will not speak with conditions placed on me, especially conditions that were not in place until a few days before I went to speak. You may be many things and also not think this of any importance but it is. And sooner than later you and others who don’t see its importance will.

  9. Just a couple of weeks ago the TCD Palestine Solidarity Society had an entire week of events and meetings open to the public. Security had no problem with that.

    Don’t expect us to believe fairytales about meetings only being open to society members.

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