Should the LSE’s Atheist, Secularist and Humanist Society have asked people to cover up people wearing religious t-shirts?

At the London School of Economics Students’s Union Freshers’ Fair members of the Atheist, Secularist and Humanist Student Society were asked to cover up their T-shirts displaying a Jesus and Mo cartoon. This panel discussion discusses the freedom to offend and how to balance freedom of expression and civility.

In response to the Jesus and Mo T-shirt incident at LSE, in which members of the London School of Economics Atheist, Secularist and Humanist Student Society were ordered to cover-up their Jesus and Mo T-shirts at the Students’ Union Freshers’ Fair in October 2013, the society hosted a panel discussion on the freedom to offend at LSE.

Professor Timothy Garton Ash, Dr Rumy Hasan, Professor Paul Kelly, Gita Sahgal and Professor Brian Winston speak about the right to offend, freedom of religion, free expression and civility.

Read more:

Comments (1)

Automated machine translations are provided by Google Translate. They should give you a rough idea of what the contributor has said, but cannot be relied on to give an accurate, nuanced translation. Please read them with this in mind.

  1. Is the right to offend absolute? (Are there any absolutes?)
    I claim that it is my right to offend by commenting on ideas (in the same spirit as Voltaire’s presumed belief: I find your ideas repugnant but I will fight to the death for your right to express them.)
    (By the way, we face a fundamental problem with regards to religious sensitivity, the offensiveness of religious challenges: for some ‘offenders’, the subject matter consists of an idea (hence he/she assert the right to offend); for the offended, the subject matter is a concrete reality (God exists, He is real), and not an idea.)
    I affirm that censorship offends me most.
    I am offended by any censorship brought to my attention.

Leave a comment in any language


Swipe left to browse all of the highlights.

Free Speech Debate is a research project of the Dahrendorf Programme for the Study of Freedom at St Antony's College in the University of Oxford.

The University of Oxford