The London School of Economics (LSE) Student Union has passed a motion prohibiting students on campus from criticizing Islam. Some critics on the LSE campus have labeled the new rule a "blasphemy law."
According to the Stonegate Institute, the controversy erupted when a Student Union-affiliated group called the "Atheist, Humanist, and Secularist Society" posted an editorial cartoon on campus depicting the prophet Mohammed. After progressive student activists complained of "Islamophobia" on campus, the LSE Student Union shut down the Atheist, Humanist, and Secularist Society, and passed its new motion banning Islamophobia.
The LSE Student Union describes Islamophobia as "a form of racism expressed through the hatred or fear of Islam, Muslims, or Islamic culture, and the stereotyping, demonization, or harassment of Muslims, including but not limited to portraying Muslims as barbarians or terrorists, or attacking the Qur'an as a manual of hatred." The motion passed on campus in an election that saw six percent voter turnout.
This incident marks another in a series of controversies related to the LSE’s relationship with Islam. In January 2010, the LSE Student Union passed a motion to formally align itself with the Islamic University of Gaza, which has ties to the Palestinian terrorist group Hamas. A year later, a Palestinian student group at the LSE made headlines for protesting an appearance by a Zionist scholar. In November 2011, the U.K. Guardian reported that the London School of Economics accepted a donation of 1.5 million British pounds from a charity headed by Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi’s son Saif al-Islam Gaddafi, an alumnus of the LSE.