Following the success of last week’s Free Speech Cafe, English PEN will continue to explore the theme of Who Gets To Speak? with a unique round-table discussion, to be broadcast live on our website.
New York University scholar Irshad Manji is visiting London, to mark the publication of her new book Allah, Liberty and Love. On Friday 9th March she will be joined by writer and broadcaster Kenan Malik, author of From Fatwa to Jihad and pannellist on BBC’s The Moral Maze; journalist and blogger Sunny Hundal; and Ghaffar Hussein (formerly of the Quilliam Foundation).
In a discussion chaired by English PEN Trustee Salil Tripathi, our panel will explore the free speech issues that arise when writers choose to challenge or speak out against the leaders, heirarchy or traditions of the minority groups to which they belong. Who gets to speak on behalf of an ethnic minority ‘community’? Are there times when the rights of the group should be given precedence over the individual’s right to free speech? How do Governments’ policies to promote ‘multiculturalism’ help or hinder free speech in these contexts? Do dissenting voices in the United Kingdom have an easier ride, compared to their counterparts in North America?
This discussion will begin just after 4pm GMT, streamed live on this website. We hope you will participate in the conversation via twitter – Salil will introduce the most pertinent questions into the discussion.