STUDENTS
07/10/2013 12:56 BST | Updated 09/10/2013 04:27 BST

LSE Students CAN Wear Jesus And Mo T-Shirt To Burka Debate

LSE students are taking legal advice after being told to cover up "offensive" t-shirts of Jesus and Mohammed.

Members of the LSESU Atheist, Secularist and Humanist Student Society at the university's Fresher's Fair were wearing t-shirts with the controversial 'Jesus and Mo' cartoons when they were told by Student Union and School staff that the clothes and certain material on their stall could constitute harassment.

Maryam Namazie, the spokesperson of the Council of Ex-Muslims of Britain, who will appear at the LSE at a debate on the burka next week has pledged to wear one of the t-shirts, and called on the audience to wear one too.

atheist society

The LSE Atheist Society's controversial garb

But LSE said they would have no issue with the t-shirts being worn at the debate, because it would have a completely different intention and atmosphere.

The school's spokesman told HuffPost UK the t-shirts were "clearly designed to depict Mohammed and Jesus in a provocative manner."

The spokesman referred to a "great deal of debate on social media platforms and concerns that the School will stop students from wearing similar t-shirts at an event hosted by ASH on 15th October, the topic of which is the wearing of the Niqab" - but added that this would not be the case.

"The event is quite different to the Freshers’ Fair, which must be accessible, inclusive and welcoming and which was in danger of being disrupted.

"The School hopes that those attending the event on 15th October will do so in a spirit of open discussion and respect and that any views expressed - orally, on clothing or however - will be in this spirit."

Chris Moos, one of the students told to remove his Jesus and Mo t-shirt at the freshers' fair, told HuffPost UK he was utterly baffled by the statement. "Are they saying that in one place, wearing the t-shirt is harassment, but not in another? You can only be harassed in certain places? It's only offensive in certain places? It makes no sense to me."

He told HuffPost UK the group were now consulting lawyers. "We have written to the School to ask exactly what on the t-shirt constituted harassment, which part contradicted the school's policy and we have received only a generic reply.

LSE has also expressed deep concern about the vitriolic nature of the debate, fuelled in part by the wading in of Professor Richard Dawkins, who referred to student union officers as "Gauleiters" - Nazi paramilitaries.

"The School and the SU would also like to put on record concern over the nature of some of the social media debate, which has been highly personalised," the spokesman said: The good campus relations group at LSE will take forward work to discuss the issues raised by the recent events in a calm manner that can further understanding, bring reconciliation and continue to make LSE the centre of global debate on the issues that matter to us all.”

Moos told HuffPost UK he did not want the attacks to turn personal. "This is a debate about the procedure, not the personal," he said. "Personal attacks are never a good way to go. But we have to make sure this never happens again at LSE, or any other university."

A petition calling for Union officers to apologise has 1, 400 signatures on Change.org.