Hamza Tzortzis and his UK Tour
Today will see the second date in a series of lectures at university campuses across the country as former Hizb-ut-Tahrir member Hamza Tzortzis continues his UK wide speaking tour. Having started at Glasgow Caledonian University on Wednesday, Tzortzis will address students at Queen Mary University this evening on the subject ‘Did God Make Man or did Man Make God?’
Continuing until March 9th, this tour takes in universities from Dundee to Dublin, mostly addressing the issue of atheism and the role of religion in science. In a number of cases Tzortzis will be debating against an opponent, but his website suggests that in many cases he will speak from an unchallenged platform. In all, Tzortzis will be speaking at 21 universities in Britain and Ireland.
As a key member of the Hittin Institute, an organisation which publishes papers such as ‘Liberalism and its Effect on Society’, Hamza has argued that liberal values have caused a “social crisis” and that “the workable solution is the Islamic Social Model”. These Islamist ideals have also led to him saying that “we as Muslims reject the idea of freedom of speech, and even the idea of freedom”.
As well as this, his associations with the Islamic Education and Research Academy (IERA) give further indication of his extremist sympathies. IERA lists as its director Abdurraheem Green. In the past Green has said that a husband may use “physical force... a very light beating” against his wife and has argued that “Islam is not compatible with democracy”. An IERA and Hittin Institute colleague, Adnan Rashid, will also debate alongside Tzortzis at University College Cork on this tour.
That some of these events will be debates is an encouraging sign, and there is little chance that Tzortzis will get an easy ride from the likes of Maryam Namzie when they clash at University College Cork on 15th February. However, the presentation of Tzortzis as an intellectual on an unchallenged platform, particularly on the topic of science, is a worrying prospect for anyone who has read his work ‘Embryology in the Quran’ or seen him speak in the past.
Student Rights will be monitoring this story as Tzortzis’ tour continues around the country, and will be speaking to students who have concerns about him speaking. Expect to see more on this over the next month.