Written by Student Rights on 15 March 2011 at 6pm

Same old, same old at Goldsmiths University ISOC

by James Gourlay Abdur Raheem Green and f, individuals who are renowned for their barbaric views and nefarious associates, are being given a platform at the Goldsmith University Islamic Society Annual Dinner. The event called “In Defence of the Deen claims to focus on addressing the issue of a “significant rise in anti-Muslim feeling across the UK and Europe”.  The event advertisement also states that the “speakers will discuss what positive action we can take to combat such feelings and how to remain patient and steadfast in these times”. So just what kind of 'positive action' are Tzortzis and Green in favour of?  Abdur Raheem Green is an advocate of domestic violence against women, proclaiming that a husband may use “physical force…a very light beating against his wife”. Further to this he has argued that “Islam teaches it followers to seek death on the battlefield” and he proscribes for the “crimes” of homosexuality and adultery “a slow and painful death by stoning”, as this fits how “harmful this crime is to society”. Tzortzis’s rhetoric is equally malignant. He vehemently argues in favour of the criminalization of homosexuality, stating that anyone who objects to this is being “subjective” and lacks the abilities to “escape the social constraints in their own societies”.  He has admitted to having recently been a member of Hizb-ut-Tahrir, an organisation which aims to establish “an expansionist, Islamist state, the Caliphate”, following this it plans to “annex all states to the Caliphate”. Abdur_Raheem_GreenAs if this one example wasn’t damning enough Tzortzis was once a trustee of a charity called “Green Crescent Bangladesh UK”. This organisation is alleged to have run an orphanage in Bangladesh in which large quantities of ammunition, explosives and weapons were seized after a raid by the Bangladeshi police in 2009. The Bangladeshi police described the site as a “terrorism training facility”. Both men are also heavily involved with the Islamic Education and Research Academy, widely referred to as iERA, an organisation which lists Dr. Abu Ameenah Bilal Phillips, who is banned from entering the UK, as one of its advisors. Despite these facts, Goldsmiths University still allows these individuals to preach from within their institution. In fact, when reading the Goldsmiths Student Union Blog we can see that they have in place a “no platform” policy regarding fascists but not “racists/sexists/homophobes since these views stem from ignorance, which should be confronted and challenged”. There are two problems with this statement. Firstly, the viewpoints which Green and Tzortzis are extolling are not being confronted or challenged, they are being allowed free reign and no one at Goldsmiths is addressing the harmful ideology they preach. Secondly and most importantly, their views are not based in ignorance; they are based in a calculated hatred of values and individuals which they see as being counterpoint to their way of life and they fully grasp and believe in the reasoning behind their opinions. By allowing these egregious individuals a venue to speak from, Goldsmiths University is denying the severity of what they are arguing and thus augmenting the already shocking level of extremist ideology being touted across university campuses.