I was directed to the back of the room, far from the business of the evening. "Why must I sit at the back?" I asked, "I want to sit at the front." I was not permitted because of a physical characteristic over which I have no control.

Like Mississippi blacks in the 1950s sent to the back of the bus for the colour of their skin, I was segregated due to my gender.

The public meeting was organised by political group Hizb ut-Tahrir to complain about Western intervention in the Middle East and ­declare a "new world order" under Islam. They forced non-Muslims into gender segregation, openly discriminating against women.

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