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Monday, 8 December 2008

Islamic radicalism is alive and well, and living on a campus near you

Islamic radicalism on British university campuses remains alive and well, according to a former member of the banned Hizb ut-Tahrir.

Rashad Ali, writing in the Guardian’s “Comment is Free” section, summarily dismisses a report that said that British universities are not a hotbed of radicalism.

He says, “The report, principally authored by [Cambridge researcher] Dr June Edmunds, was promptly – and deservedly – trashed by Professor Anthony Glees [professor of politics and director of the Centre for Security and Intelligence Studies at Buckingham University] for its methodology (it was based on just 26 interviews at three universities, out of a total Muslim student population of 89,000).”

Ali says he spent several years with Hizb, sitting on its national committee, and “during this time I regularly visited and spoke at least a dozen universities promoting Islamist thought. I can assure Edmunds that Islamist radicalism remains a problem at these and other universities – partly thanks to my recruitment activities.”

He then goes into an examination of the three universities Edmunds cites. He concludes:

But if academics are going to conduct their research based on small samples susceptible to Islamist influence, why not save time and energy by cutting out the academic middle man altogether? Some branches of government have already embraced this pioneering form of “engagement”.

The Department for Innovation, Universities and Skills has recently worked with FOSIS [the Federation of Student Islamic Societies] to carry out a poll of Muslim students’ opinions. The head of Fosis, Faisal Hanjra, laid out his progressive and forward-thinking ideas while he was head of Queen Mary ISOC last year.

At his ISOC’s events and talks, women were typically sat at the back of the hall and had to write down questions for speakers in case their voices caused men to be distracted from the serious business of Islamism. Is this really the version of Islam that the British government wants to promote?


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