Pending: Sexual discrimination case against Hizb ut-Tahrir.

Alison Bevege, who was a  journalist for Northern Territory News  in Darwin before relocating to Sydney in March 2014,  has lodged a claim against the Islamist organisation, Hizb ut-Tahrir  for $100,000, citing sexual discrimination.

Reportedly she was told by a Hizb ut-Tahrir representative that she couldn’t sit at the front of the room with men at a public meeting in October last year in Sydney. She attended the meeting as a freelance writer and was allegedly told  to sit at the back of the room with other women.

“I knew they would segregate but I didn’t expect they would force me to comply because obviously I’m not Muslim and it’s a public meeting.”

“People have the freedom to believe whatever they want but that freedom is limited by the rights of other people (and) I think it’s time we drew a clear line as what is acceptable behaviour in the public sphere and what should be kept in the private realm of religious belief.”

Ms Bevege lodged a complaint with the Anti-Discrimination Board five days later. The complaint was introduced on Wednesday at the tribunal following an unsuccessful mediation between the parties.

Females at the talk about issues facing the Muslim society in May were only allowed to sit in the back rows of the room. credit: http://www.dailymail.co.uk

She has asked for an apology and $100,000 in compensation, which she said she intended to donate to four charities.

“When I went in, as soon as I walked in the door, a woman representative of the group immediately directed me to the back half of the room. I said ‘I don’t want to sit at the back of the room’, I wanted to sit in the front where I could see,”

“Why must I sit at the back? I want to sit at the front.” I was not permitted because of a physical characteristic over which I have no control.

She goes  on to say:

“It became clear that if I wanted to stay in the meeting I would have to sit at the back of the room, so I sat in the front row of the back section.”

Ms Bevege said that sending a woman to the back of the room was

“just as bad as it is to send black people or gays to the back of a room”.

“I knew they would segregate but I didn’t expect they would force me to comply because obviously I’m not Muslim and it’s a public meeting.”

“People have the freedom to believe whatever they want but that freedom is limited by the rights of other people (and) I think it’s time we drew a clear line as what is acceptable behaviour in the public sphere and what should be kept in the private realm of religious belief.

The case will continue at the Tribunal on July 15.

The spokesman for Islamic extremist group Hizb ut-Tahrir, Ismail al-Wahwah, delivered the rant in an online video posted on March 3. http://www.dailymail.co.uk

Ismail Alwahwah the spokesman of the group will categorically refute the claims. The Daily Telegraph says that Mr Alwahwah believes that Alison Bevege doesn’t understand the Muslim religion and that the separation of men and women is part of Islam itself and not reserved to religious gatherings in mosques.

In turn the Sydney reporter said she was left heartbroken and “annoyed” when told she had to sit separately and despaired for moderate Muslim women who are becoming voiceless.

“Secular Muslim women in the middle are getting crushed,”

“It breaks my heart, I’m so sad to see what is happening to our country.”

“This is about human rights, the right to equality for women is enshrined by the United Nations and inalienable,” she said.

“This was not a religious gathering, it was an open political meeting.”

This same  Ismail Alwahwah is the man who  delivered a rant in an online video posted on March 3 calling :

“the Jewish people ‘the most evil creatures of Allah”

and

“They will pay with blood”

He went on further to say recognising the Jewish people and giving them ‘even a single inch of Palestine’ would be the ‘epitome of evil’ as it would ‘strengthen that cancerous entity’.

More here: Jews to ‘pay with blood’: Hizb ut-Tahrir extremist in Australia.

 

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8 comments

  1. Gender segretation has been happening for some years, often at educational institutions which are supposed to uphold human rights and oppose discrimination. Among many other examples, the University of Melbourne has been condemned for allowing this segregation:http://www.theaustralian.com.au/national-affairs/abbott-condemns-melbourne-university-over-sex-segregation-at-islamic-events/story-fn59niix-1226630024655

  2. Shirlee, I remember Vickie Janson writing about how she went to a public meeting and she and her husband were asked to sit in separate areas. She refused and continued sitting among the men next to her husband.

  3. I think Vickie is very brave, because most women would be intimidated by the harrasment . That’s what these Islamist bullies rely on.

  4. Larry Langman

    Were you to change the organisation from say Hizb ut-Tahrir to lets say the Adass community of Melbourne…..we would find the identical constraint applied to the journalist for the identical reason.

    And might I suggest we would find her argument for sitting amongst the men unreasonable, provocative and therefore unexceptable. If this journalist was of orthodox Jewish, let alone ultra orthodox descent she would well understand the sensibilities of the situation. Never mind the back of the room she could find herself in a seperate room or at least behind a mechitzak.

    From reading the article she was received appropriately and directed appropriately. From inspection of the photo of the audience that accompanies this article I might imagine that this audience might hold to a tradition of segregation as we would expect from a meeting convened by Adass.

    While I would not support the world view of Hizb ut-Tahrir, and may well not agree with many of customs and traditions of Adass……on there decision to observe a code of strict seperation of the sexes in public, while it would not be my view or custom, I understand that others have a different position.

    Ms Bevege knew the audience would be segregated, just as we all know that for a gathering of Adass the audience would be segregated, Would we accept a view that in Australia, Adass has no right to practice the seperation of the sexes in a meeting they might run? Which other rights of the Adass community are we prepared to say are “un-Australian”?

    My sense would be that these pages would run with claims of antisemitism. And rightly so.

  5. Jan Poddebsky

    I suspect that Ms Bevege’s anti-discrimination case on the basis of sexism has a better chance of success than the case of anti-semitism mounted against Hizbut Tahrir. Anyone taking bets?

    • Nah! They’ll throw it out of Court on the pretext of racial discrimination, even though Islam isn’t a race, or something like that. You mark my words.