Author: Alice Sholl

LGoS holds Interfaith Week

  Faith celebration begins at University of Liverpool The Liverpool Guild of students is currently hosting Interfaith Week, which celebrates the diverse selection of faiths in Britain. The events throughout the week will include trips to places of worship around the city, and society-led workshops including introductions to different religions. So far the Guild has held visits to the Gudwara and Hindu Temple, and offered an exploration of Hinduism. The peak of the week in on Wednesday, when faith societies, Faith Express and all students who wish to take part will gather at the guild at 1pm. After a series of presentations on different faiths there will be a ‘walk of faith’, which will visit houses of worship across the campus and city. The event will finish with a ‘faith food feast’, where participants can sample a selection of cultural dishes, and take part in an inter faith quiz. “It’s a time for extending existing bonds of cooperation and friendship and creating new ones” – IFN Co-Chairs The celebration is held nationwide from Sunday 17 November until Saturday 23 November in England, Northern Ireland and Wales. The event aims to Strengthen good inter faith relations at all levels, and increase awareness of faith communities in the UK. Events are still very much under way at the University of Liverpool with an introduction to Judaism on Tuesday, and Islam on...

Read More

Alleged rapist awarded PhD in social work at Hope

Department offering PhD to Smith headed by fellow SWP member Martin Smith, who resigned from the Socialist Worker’s Party in June following allegations of rape, has been awarded a funded PhD in Social Work at Liverpool Hope University. Smith was cleared of the allegations in what has been criticised as a “kangaroo court” – an internal investigation comprising of a committee made up of those with strong connections to Smith. Critics have accused the SWP of being “rape apologists” and Smith’s suspension as a “slap on the wrist”. The PhD is in the Social Work, Youth and Justice Department of Liverpool Hope University, which is headed by Michael Lavalette, a fellow SWP member who remains loyal to its leadership. A poster campaign has taken place at the University since, stating that Lavalette “clearly has no concern for the safety of women in this university.” Case was never passed on to police Smith was referred to as ‘Comrade Delta’ during a party conference in January 2013, over allegations of rape and sexual assault against a much younger female party member. The allegations were investigated and dismissed internally and the case was never passed on to police. The young woman in question claimed to be subjected to inappropriate questions and accusations, including drug use and previous sexual history. Many critics on the left have accused the party of poor internal management,...

Read More

Talk cancelled at University due to ‘anti-gay’ teachings

Tour by cleric “cancelled until further notice” Cleric Mufti Ismail Menk will no longer be speaking at the University of Liverpool, due to protests over his preaching of anti-homosexual views. The Tayyibun Institute, a UK based learning centre of Qur’an and Sunnah, organised the tour which was going to run in universities across the UK. The website has replaced the tour page with a notice that the tour is “cancelled until further notice” since the negative response online from various groups and the public. A YouTube clip which began the controversy was uploaded in June, and features Menk opening with the lines “How can you engage yourselves with the same sex?” Menk focuses on homosexuality within Islam in the clip, saying that the Qur’an rejects homosexuality. Gay sex is compared to “rape” and gay people to “animals”, which has caused the most stir among online gay communities. “Today we have people claiming to be Muslims . . . and I’ve heard one of them on YouTube recently saying no I have studied the Qur’an, I have studied the Qur’an totally . . . they believe that the Qur’an does not reject this issue of homosexuality . . . Well they don’t understand arabic, they haven’t understood anything that the Qur’an comes with”. LGBT+ society threaten to protest UoL’s LGBT + committee threatened to protest if the event was not...

Read More

David Cameron plans to introduce Sharia compliant student loans

Alternative loans model to be offered to Muslim students “The Government must act quickly” – NUS President David Cameron has stated that the Government will introduce Sharia compliant student loans. Many Muslim students currently feel unable to take out student loans due to religious objections over interest. Under the new £9000 fees, a ‘real’ rate of interest is charged on student loans. Many Muslim students and organisations representing them feel this rate makes student loans inaccessible to them. Members of other Abrahamic faiths could also object, though Muslim students are the most affected. Practical difference for students in signing different paperwork The NUS has campaigned for Sharia compliant loans since the rise in fees in 2010, alongside  FOSIS, Al-Qalam and 1st Ethical, organisations which offer various kinds of social and legal support for Muslims. They have developed a model which would be offered alongside the typical student loan scheme, a through a ‘commodity murabaha structure’ which leave students repaying the same amount overall, but avoids the use of interest. Not all Muslim organisations believe it is ideal from a Sharia perspective, but that it is tolerable as long as it adheres to the guidelines of Accounting and Auditing Organization for Islamic Financial Institutions. NUS President Toni Pearce has said: “It’s fantastic that the prime minister has accepted this very real need for sharia compliant loans. It is simply not acceptable to expect people to...

Read More

University staff go on strike

University employers face first strike by three unions at same time “This time we have no choice” – Unison The staff of the University of Liverpool went on strike today alongside other universities throughout Merseyside. The campaign has also impacted over 21 other cities throughout the country. Many lectures were cancelled, and main campus buildings marked clearly as picket lines. The protest over unfair pay began on campus, moving on to University Square and other main university sites such as John Moores department buildings. It finished with a march through the town centre to St. George’s Hall, disrupting traffic along the way. “Unions will start talking to each other, start fighting.” Staff and workers were joined by students supporting the strike, and people of all ages in the crowd. There were banners representing UoL, John Moores University and Liverpool Hope University alongside union placards. Protesters brandished rattles and made as much noise as possible, shouting chants such as ‘get the cable cutters’ (referencing Vince Cable), and the familiar mantra against cuts to higher education: ‘no ifs, no buts, no education cuts.’ UCU, Unison and Unite trade unions announced in mid-October that their members in higher education would strike if a dispute over pay is not resolved by the proposed date. UNISON’s head of higher education said previous to the protest: “Will students and parents be prepared to pay the current...

Read More

Recent Tweets