Female and male students at one of Britain’s leading universities were separated from dining together at one of the most important calendar diary events of the year.
More than 100 students from the London School of Economics attended the £20 annual Islamic Society ticketed event at the Grand Connaught Rooms in Covent Garden – to raise money for charitable causes this weekend.
But the women and men were seated in separate areas – segregated by a 15ft cream curtain – in order to protect their modesty and keep them out of temptation’s way.
Those who wanted to go were also directed towards male and female salespeople – to prevent any embarrassment as they purchased tickets.
The move was intended to ensure that they could attend without having to come into close contact or communicate with the opposite sex.
Gender segregation is common in Islam and is mandated by law in many Muslim countries and communities.
The concept of “Ikhtilat” the Arabic term used for intermingling of the sexes – is often described as “haram” which means “forbidden.”
The students who also invite other religions to their event and have even hosted Catholic priests, sit separately, eat apart and do not have to mingle depending on their take on the religion.
A source said: “It happens every year, the women and the men choose to sit separately especially those who follow the religion fastidiously.
“One one side of the curtain are the men and the other side of the curtain are women – who can feel free to remove their niqabs and hijab, they are also served by female waitresses.
“No alcohol is served at the event and the food is ḥalāl however the entertainment is deemed suitable for all and the curtain merely separates the audience, both sexes can see the stage.”
The mixing of sexes who are unmarried is still a highly controversial subject in Muslim countries around the world.
In 2010, a Saudi cleric shocked the international community after he issued a fatwa calling for those who promote co-educational environments to be put to death.
Sheikh Abdul Rahman Al-Barrak said the mixing of men and women in the workplace or educational institutions was religiously prohibited.
No-one from the LSE Islamic Society was available for comment despite requests.
Source – mirror