Evolutionary biologist Richard Dawkins has lashed out at a London university as “sanctimonious little prigs” after officials intimated two atheist students who were wearing T-shirts that mocked Jesus Christ and Prophet Mohamed.
London School of Economics (LSE) students Abishek Phadnis and Chris Moos were first asked to cover up T-shirts featuring the webcomic “Jesus and Mo” last week after other students complained. But the students were then forced to remove the T-shirts and were followed by campus security for the remainder of the day.
According to The Independent, members of LSE’s legal team later advised the students that their T-shirts were creating an “offensive atmosphere” that could been viewed as “harassment” even though they had covered the parts deemed “offensive.”
“We are still in shock about the intimidating behaviour of the LSESU and LSE staff,” the students wrote on the National Secular Society website. “Again, we strongly reject the claim that our clothing or behaviour could be reasonably interpreted as ‘harassing’ or ‘offensive.’”
“We have written to the LSE Pro-Director for Teaching and Learning, Paul Kelly, and the Head of LSE Legal and Compliance, Kevin Haynes, expressing indignation at our treatment and seeking a full explanation of the grounds of the allegations against us,” the statement added. “We are still awaiting a detailed reply.”
In one tweet, Dawkins encouraged others students to purchase the same T-shirt and to wear it “for the benefit of the sanctimonious prigs of your Student Union.”
A petition calling for LSESU’s General Secretary Jay Stoll had over 1,600 signature at the time of publication.