Written by Student Rights on 4 January 2012 at 1pm

The Reality of Murtaza Khan

This Friday the issue of university societies hosting extremist speakers rears its head once again as students return to classes from their winter break.

Organised by Abu Bakr Islam’s Roadside to Islam, which attempts to use religion to help youngsters turn away from anti-social behaviour, and hosted by the London South Bank University Islamic Society an event entitled ‘The Reality of This Dunya’ will be taking place. 

Placed at the top of the bill on the poster is Murtaza Khan, a man whose divisive rhetoric Student Rights have drawn attention to in the past. Frequently invited to speak at Islamic Societies across the country, Khan appeared at Brunel University on 1st November 2011 and has also appeared at University College London, Queen Mary, City University, London South Bank and Kingston University in the past few years.  As well as this he has also been the visiting khateeb at the University of East London, giving the Friday sermon to students and in 2008 was invited to teach a short Islamic course at Queen Mary.

He has been criticised for his extreme views in the past and was recorded in 2007 by Channel 4 asking “for how long do we have to see our mothers, sisters and daughters having to uncover themselves before these filthy non-Muslim doctors?

He has also stated that “we have become Jews in our clothing, Jews in our eating, Jews in everything that we do, and the other half is Christian in everything we do. Muslims are following one of these accursed nations. And people are still not waking up to understand the fact that these people are enemies towards us”.

Added to this issue is the suggestion by the Islamic Society that “if you are new to Islam or your [sic] not praticeing[sic] please try and come so inshallah so you can meet new Muslims and be in a good Islamic environment” despite Khan’s views not representing those of the majority of the UK’s Muslim population. These intolerant ideas fuel tensions between Britain’s diverse communities and should have no place on an unchallenged platform, yet this event does not appear to be one which will attempt a balanced debate

Instead, this “100 Per Cent segregated” event will also host Wasim Kempson alongside Khan, a man who clearly does not appear to mind sharing a platform with speakers who peddle extreme views. In the past he has shared platforms with Haitham al-Haddad, as well as joining him on retreats organised by Sabeel, an arm of Haddad’s Muslim Research and Development Foundation. He has also joined Sulaiman Ghani at seminars, as well as speaking with his colleague tomorrow Murtaza Khan and Jalal Ibn Saeed.

In response to this event Student Rights said that “If Roadside to Islam and London South Bank University think these speakers are the right people to address young Muslims something is deeply wrong. We call for both the university and Roadside to Islam to explain why it is that they feel Murtaza Khan should be allowed to speak unopposed considering his comments in the past”.