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Written by Student Rights on 18 January 2012 at 4pm

Abu Usamah to speak at Warwick University (Update: Event Cancelled)

UPDATE: Edited to remove comment wrongly attributed to Abu Usamah.

UPDATE: The Warwick University Islamic Society has said that the event will now be cancelled due to 'unfortunate circumstances'. Student Rights exchanged e-mails with the Warwick University Islamic Society who said that the society were not previously aware of Abu Usamah's comments and cancelled him after learning of his views. The President of the society said: "Warwick University Islamic Society does not allow any speakers on campus that will cause any negative issues with The University itself."

On Thursday 19th January the Islamic Society at Warwick University will be hosting an event entitled ‘Ten Major Signs of the Last Hour’ which will feature as its speaker Abu Usamah At-Thahabi.

Here at Student Rights we have raised concerns about Thahabi in the past and find it deeply troubling that he is once again being given the opportunity to address students considering his history of intolerance and extremism.

In 2007 he was unwittingly filmed by Channel 4 whilst he preached at the Green Lane Masjid in Birmingham and aired homophobic, misogynistic views, as well as fostering communal division.

He declared that “whoever changes his religion from al-Islam to anything else, kill him in the Islamic state” and stated that “we hate the people of the kufr (non-Muslims). We hate the kuffar. He has compounded this divisive rhetoric by saying that “Jews and Christians are enemies to Muslims”.

As well as this he said that the punishment for homosexuality was death, askingdo you practice homosexuality with men? Take that homosexual man and throw him off the mountain”.

He has also said of these views that “if I were to call homosexuals perverted, dirty, filthy dogs who should be murdered, that’s my freedom of speech isn’t it?” These views have resulted in Peter Tatchell of the LGBT rights group Outrage calling him a “fundamentalist hate preacher”.

His opinions also include the supposed fact that “Allah has created the women, even if she gets a PhD, deficient. Her intellect is incomplete, deficient”.

At Student Rights we have spoken to one society at the University who have expressed their opposition to Thahabi’s presence and are attempting to gather students to attend the event in order to protest his presence. We would also call for Warwick University to review the decision that was made allowing At-Thahabi to visit the campus and we would hope that this event will be monitored by a member of staff to ensure that there is no opportunity for hate speech to be spread.