University atheist society ordered out of freshers’ fair for displaying ‘blasphemous’ pineapple called Mohammed
- Reading union staff claimed fruit caused ‘distress and upset’ to other students
- University accused of ‘pandering to the hurt feelings of the devout’
PUBLISHED: 18:03 GMT, 4 October 2012 | UPDATED: 20:13 GMT, 4 October 2012
A group of atheist students were thrown out of their freshers’ fair because they included a pineapple labelled ‘Mohammed’ on their stall.
The Reading University Atheist, Humanist and Secularist Society (RAHS) said they wanted to celebrate free speech and promote their upcoming debate ‘Should we respect religion?’
But they were ordered to remove the offending fruit by union staff who said their actions were causing ‘upset and distress’ to a number of Muslim students and other societies.
RAHS refused, citing that they had labelled the pineapple after the Islamic prophet to ‘encourage discussion about blasphemy, religion, and liberty’.
A spokesman said: ‘We wanted to celebrate the fact that we live in a country in which free speech is protected and where it is lawful to call a pineapple by whatever name one chooses.’