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Militant Islam Monitor > Articles > New Government counter-radicalisation strategy undermined on UK campuses

New Government counter-radicalisation strategy undermined on UK campuses

February 19, 2009


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New Government counter-radicalisation strategy undermined on UK campuses

Centre for Social Cohesion Press Briefing 19 February 2009

New government plans to isolate those who encourage intolerance and separatism within Britain's Muslim communities will prove ineffective unless the government, universities and student societies address the issue of extreme speakers on UK campuses.

Under the new policy, the Home Office will no longer fund groups found to be "encouraging discrimination, undermining democracy and being ambiguous towards terrorism." Whilst the Centre for Social Cohesion (CSC) welcomes the government's shift, it warns that extreme speakers espousing hatred and intolerance on UK campuses continue – unchallenged – to target young Muslims vulnerable to separatist, Islamist rhetoric.

Both counter-terrorism experts and former extremists have argued that universities can be fertile breeding grounds for extremists. While most Muslim students support secularism and democratic values and reject violence in the name of their faith, a CSC report on attitudes towards Islam published last year found worrying signs of religious segregation and intolerance on UK campuses and reported that extreme Islamist speakers are regularly invited to certain UK campuses.

Allowed to go uncontested, Islamist ideology can, and has, led to violent extremism. Nevertheless, campuses continue to host speakers who:

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· justify attacks on civilians and suicide bombings

· promote religious intolerance, homophobia and misogyny

· advocate Islam's incompatibility with liberal democracy and call for a Caliphate based on medieval interpretations of Sharia


Hannah Stuart, a researcher at the CSC and co-author of Islam on Campus, says:

"To effectively tackle the root causes of violent extremism amongst Britain's young Muslims the government urgently need to take steps to reduce Islamist influence on campus. University authorities and student societies should not give a platform to intolerant separatist voices."

RECENT EXAMPLES:

Justification of attacks on civilians and suicide bombings:

York, defends suicide bombing as a military tactic:

"This is not really considered to be suicide in its true sense. This is a military action; and human life and sacrifice in that military action."

Phillips is the guest of honour at the Queen Mary University Islamic Society (ISOC) annual dinner on 06 March 2009.

  • Azzam Tamimi, supports Hamas and suicide bombing:

"If I can go to Palestine and sacrifice myself I would do it."

Tamimi speaks regularly on campuses: he addressed the Federation of Student Islamic Societies (FOSIS) Palestine Conference, University of Nottingham on 01 November 2008 and was scheduled to speak at University College London (UCL) on 05 February 2009.

  • Ismail Patel, said a Palestinian state could only exist at the expense of the Jewish one

and referred to Hamas as:

"One of the noblest resistance movements I've come across."

Patel will speak on campuses twice this month (SOAS, 18 February 2009 and Kingston University, 24 February 2009).

Promotion of religious intolerance, homophobia and misogyny:

December 2007):

"We don't accept homosexuality … we hate it because Allah hates it."

[…]

"We excommunicate people when they transgress their limits of God and ascribe partners to him or disbelieve in him … Look at the dangers of compromise, look at the dangers of appeasement, when you accept something from an alien or foreign tradition that is not from the core religion, down the line, decades, centuries, millennium after that, you're going to get a very rotten apple."

University campuses are giving Lateef a platform six times this academic term, including Queen Mary (27 January 2009), UCL (13 February 2009), Royal Holloway (24 February 2009), Queen Mary ISOC annual dinner (06 March 2009) and Guy's King' and St Thomas' (11 March 2009).

  • Murtaza Khan (aka Abu Hasnayn Murtaza Khan), advocates extreme intolerance towards

non-Muslims. In a 2007 Channel 4 documentary Khan asked a Muslim audience:

"For how long do we have to see our mothers, sisters and daughters having to uncover themselves before these filthy non-Muslim doctors? We should have a sense of shame."

Khan spoke twice to student societies in January 2009 (Queen Mary on the 14th and UCL on the 21st) and currently teaches Islamic Studies at Al Noor primary school in London.

  • Abdul Raheem Green, said that a husband may use "physical force... a very light beating"

against his wife and has argued that "Islam is not compatible with democracy."

Green has spoken on university campuses at least ten times in the last year, including recently at UCL (22 January 2009) and the London School of Economics (LSE, 04 February 2009).

  • Khalid Yasin, preaches religious intolerance, distrust of non-believers and gender inequality:

"We Muslims have been ordered to do ‘brainwashing' because the kuffaar … they are doing ‘braindefiling' … You are watching the kaffir TVs, and your wife is watching right now, and your children are watching it right now, and they are being polluted, and they are being penetrated, and they are being infected, so that your children and you go out as Muslims and come back to the house as kaffirs."

[…]

"This whole delusion of the equality of women is a bunch of foolishness. There's no such thing"

Yassin has spoken at over half a dozen universities since January last year including recent events at Queen Mary College (30 January 2009) and the University of Essex (07 February 2009.

  • Yahya Ibrahim, preaches hatred and distrust towards non-Muslims. In one talk he said:

"Never, never will the Jews and the Christians be satisfied or content or pleased with you until you follow them and their religion […] I wish to speak to you about how they are trying to influence us, how the disbelievers are trying to take us from our religion."

Ibrahim will tour university Islamic Societies (ISOCs) between the 16th and 19th of February 2009, speaking at the University of Warwick, Goldsmiths University, the University of Birmingham and Queen Mary.

Advocation of Islam's incompatibility with liberal democracy and the call for a Caliphate based on medieval interpretations of Sharia:

  • Hamza Andreas Tzortzis, speaks regularly on UK campuses and at events organised by Hizb ut-Tahrir, advocating the Islamist belief that Islam as a political project is divinely inspired and superior to liberal democracy which is man-made:

At a Hizb ut-Tahrir event in Central London in April 2008 Tzortzis said:

"I am not here today to defend Islam in any shape or form. When they [non-believers] mention democracy and secularism, they say why these are enlightened values? They don't justify their belief and nor should we in some cases, why should we justify what Allah (SWT) says when we must cut the hand of the thief with all these conditions, why would we justify the social system?"

[…]

"Our deen, our aqeedah is based on something that is real that is rational and that is proven. Whereas their aqeedah and their manifestations of their aqeedah is based on something weak, based on the compromise, and something that can be easily refuted.

At another event in Whitechapel in February 2008 Hizb ut-Tahrir report that Tzortzis urged his Muslim majority audience to "embark on an intellectual path of dawah to the non-Muslims in the UK, thus enable them to understand why Muslims are trying so hard to end the chaos in the Muslim lands and establish the Islamic Khilafah State there."

Hizb ut-Tahrir was banned by the National Union of Students in 2004. However, Tzortzis spoke at no fewer than 15 campuses between November 2008 and February 2009, including Oxford (22 January 2009), Cambridge (09 February 2009), Kings College London (13 February 2009) and the LSE (23 January 2009).

Press enquiries: 0207 222 8909 / pressoffice@socialcohesion.co.uk

The Centre for Social Cohesion is an independent think tank

*The Centre for Social Cohesion * Clutha House * 10 Storey's Gate * London * SW1P 3AY*

*0207 222 8909 * mail@socialcohesion

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