17 January 2012 at 6pm

Press release: Threats of violence at London university

Immediate release: Threats of violence at London university (Jan 17th 2012)

LONDON - A talk organised yesterday by the Queen Mary Atheism, Secularism and Humanism Society on ‘Sharia Law and Human Rights’ had to be cancelled after threats of violence.

The London university based group was due to have a discussion on the pertinent topic yesterday evening (Monday 16th) when, five minutes before the discussion, a man burst into the room and began filming audience members on his camera-phone.

He is reported to have shouted: “Listen up all of you, I am recording this, I have your faces on film now, and I know where some of you live…  and if I hear that anything is said against the holy Prophet Mohammed, I will hunt you down.”

Two audience members are said to have applauded the man’s threats.

The unnamed man then left to film audience members arriving in the foyer. The lack of security at the event meant that it had to be cancelled and students were sent away, have just received violent threats against them.

Raheem Kassam, director of the campus watch-group ‘Student Rights’ said: “This incident sends chills down my spine. If a university campus cannot host a free, balanced debate in a secure environment then something is going terribly wrong. Week upon week, universities including Queen Mary host extremist preachers – yet when a serious debate is to be had, they cannot even secure the pre-booked room. It is an outrage.”

Student Rights have campaigned vigorously to ensure balanced speaker platforms are utilized for events that take place on campuses, vocally criticizing Queen Mary University as well as many other institutions around the country for defending the right of extremist preachers to use universities as a pulpit for their hate-filled views.

In January 2011, Student Rights criticized Queen Mary for hosting the extremist preacher Abu Usamah, who is on record saying that homosexuals should be thrown off mountains and that non-Muslims are 'pathological liars' and that 'Jews and Christians are enemies to Muslims”.

Kassam said: “Queen Mary must now clarify as to whether they are committed to free and fair speech, rather than hate-speech. At the moment, the score is one-nil to the extremists.”