Gender segregation advice U-turn 
Not only Gove but also Cameron now keen to stick one on Universities UK. "The [PM's] spokesman made clear that the PM wanted a ban on gender-segregated audiences on campus even where men and women voluntarily separated themselves. [... not sure that's quite how it was meant to sound, but never mind ...] He also stressed that the prime minister's views did not extend to places of worship such as mosques, synagogues or gurdwaras." (Or events run by religious organisations on campus that happen to start and end with acts of worship? in the customary place of worship, the hall booked out for every Friday Jumu'ah?... only asking!)

Time was, when I was a lad, that every feminist on campus would have been properly outraged at any intervention from on high that sought to undermine their right to a separate, independent women's caucus. Islam is not feminism, but Muslims could do worse than learn a thing or two from the women's movement, for example fighting for the right to dress as you please without being obliged to dress up as a sex object.

Has it struck any of these pontificating politicians that it might actually be women, and not only Muslim women, but especially Muslim women, who want the right to attend meetings without being messed around with? Or perhaps these politicians don't actually want conscientiously observing Muslim women on campus, or in the labour market? Maybe Gove and Cameron actually want Muslim women to stay at home and do the ironing.

Ever practical, here's a suggestion: three sections - one exclusively for women, one exclusively for men and one for those who wish to mix. Simple, and everyone's happy except for politicians looking to score a cheap point for a cause they don't really believe in, women's independence.

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