Hizb-ut-Tahrir speaker event cancelled
A few weeks ago, Student Rights brought you the news that Jamal Harwood, a representative of the Islamist Hizb-ut-Tahrir (HT) group was due to speak at the University of Westminster. The event, hosted by the 'Global Ideas Society' has now been cancelled. A statement on the University of Westminster Student Union website states:
"PLEASE NOTE that the University has instructed us to CANCEL this evening's (Thursday 16 February) Global Ideas Society Debate, so the event will now NOT be taking place. We apologise for any inconvenience caused."
The event was organised despite the fact that the National Union of Students list Hizb-ut-Tahrir as one of the organisations subject to their No-Platform policy. Westminster University Student Union does not subscribe to this policy although the university authorities cited this policy in an attempt to convince the Student Union to prevent Jamal Harwood from speaking then also.
Mr Harwood has been involved with the organisation for many years now, writing in their monthly magazine ‘Khilafah’ in the early years of the last decade, as well as being named as their Head of Legal Affairs on page 11 of the HT press information pack. He is also named as a former chairman of the HT Executive Committee by the website New Civilisation, an online opinion site which names Mr Harwood alongside two other senior HT figures as it's key contributors.
His writings on New Civilisation focus mostly on economic issues, with an article published on January 27th providing an insight into the opinions he would have aired at the event. In this piece, called ‘A Real Radical Solution to the Financial Crisis’, Harwood proposes what he calls the “Islamic solutions” to the crisis. This includes a ban on interest and a return to the gold/silver standard as well as comprehensive land, welfare and tax reform. This focus on economic issues can also be seen in a report produced by HT, and apparently written by Harwood, in December 2011 in which he once again examines the issue of the gold standard.
That Harwood would likely have been espousing Islamist economic ideas at this debate is likely to have caused distress for the university authorities, as well as to many students who have contacted us over the past few weeks.