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Sunday, 27 July 2008

Killing is justified, say UK Muslim students

A report says nearly a third of Muslims on campuses of British universities believe it's OK to kill in the name of religion.

According to a report in the Observer today, student groups say the poll's methodology is "deeply flawed".

The poll is called "Islam on Campus", and was conducted by YouGov for the think tank the Centre for Social Cohesion. The poll showed that "32 per cent of Muslim students polled said killing in the name of religion was justified", compared with 2 per cent of non-Muslims.

And a third of those polled are said to be in favour of a worldwide Islamic caliphate, and 54 per cent supported the idea of having their own political party at Westminster.

"Just under a quarter did not believe men and women were equal in the eyes of Allah, while 25 per cent said they had little or no respect for homosexuals," says the Observer story.

"These findings are deeply alarming," said the report's co-author, Hannah Stuart. "Students in higher education are the future leaders of their communities. Yet significant numbers of them appear to hold beliefs which contravene liberal democratic values."

Then let us be warned. If we're not careful, do we stand to reap the "benefits" of their education, or is their possible influence being overplayed?

The story goes on to tell us that Ed Husain, author of The Islamist and a former member of the radical group Hizb ut-Tahrir, which has been banned from most campuses, has claimed that universities are a fertile breeding ground for extremists. And in 2005, Professor Anthony Glees of Brunel University said that he had identified "extremist and/or terror groups" at 30 universities. "But his claims", says the Observer, "were largely dismissed by many academics and the NUS [National Union of Students]."

Hannah Stuart reckons the the report's findings show there are signs of growing religious segregation on campuses. "These results are deeply embarrassing for those who have said that there is no extremism in British universities," she tells the paper.

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