A separate notice on the website of the University of Leicester Islamic Society (ULISoc), makes clear that while its meetings are open to the public it has a policy of “segregated seating for brothers and sisters at all co-attended events”.
The University said that it would investigate the signs shown in the photographs, which are said to have been taken by a student, but added that it was not aware of anyone being “forced” to sit separately.
Then, after being shown a link to the society’s website making clear that it had a policy of segregated seating, it said it would ensure that no one was required to sit separately unless they wished to.
A spokesman for Tzortzis’s group acknowledged that it was not uncommon for the sexes to be informally segregated at events for Muslim students but insisted any signs were just to “facilitate” rather than “enforce” separation.
He added that there was “not usually any sort of problem” if non-Muslims attend events and ignore signs advising them to sit in different areas.
“It is a little bit of a storm in a teacup,” he said.
“It is down to a bit of a misunderstanding about the way that Islam is perceived.”
He added that signs could be helpful to “accommodate” people who “want to sit with their own gender”.
And Mr Tzortzis responded to criticism on Twitter, insisting that there had been no “enforcement” but added: “This is neo-liberal extremism at its best.
“If women want to sit alone, let them.”
Last month a debate organised by the IERA and addressed by Mr Tzortzis at UCL almost had to be abandoned over the issue of segregation.
Professor Lawrence Krauss, a leading physicist and former adviser to Barack Obama, was invited to debate the question of “Islam or Atheism: Which Makes More Sense?” with Mr Tzortzis.
But he threatened to walk out when he discovered that men and women were sitting in segregated blocs.
He was persuaded to stay only after organisers agreed to let men and women sit together but then found himself being accused of intolerance by angry members of the audience.
The professor later remarked that British people appeared too afraid to offend “vocal and aggressive” elements.
A spokesman for Leicester University said: “The university will investigate whether entrances to the hall for this event were segregated by the Society and will ensure there is no recurrence of this.”
Dan Flatt of the university’s Students’ Union said: “The Students’ Union does not believe in enforced segregation.
“We trust in our Societies ability to conduct their events in accordance with the principles of the Union.”
No-one from the University of Leicester Islamic Society itself responded to inquiries about the arrangement last night.
On its website the group advertises sporting sessions for men and women but adds: “Please note: due to the relocation of sports facilities this year it has unfortunately not been possible to book the Sports Hall for sisters’ sports.”