Written by Student Rights on 26 April 2012 at 5pm

Sixth Form College hosts Haitham al-Haddad

In 2011 the Prevent review said of countering the radicalisation of students that “there has been much less activity in the further education sector than in universities”, something which is also reflected in the work of those who study this area. As such, events featuring extreme speakers such as this week’s ‘Discover Islaam Week’ at Leyton Sixth Form College, tend to slip under the radar. 

The most unpleasant speaker on the bill, speaking tonight on the topic ‘Does Islam oppress women’, is Haitham Al-Haddad, a man who has been filmed defending Hamas and who’s intolerant views have been highlighted by Student Rights on numerous occasions.

Considering that Al-Haddad believes that “the most honourable[sic] and worthy role for a woman is striving to be a fine wife, a good mother, or both. This role does not only secure the best for a woman in the hereafter, but also fits perfectly with her natural disposition”, he seems an odd choice for this topic.

When accusations of extreme anti-Semitism, and his belief that homosexuality is a “criminal act” and a “scourge”, are taken into account, the idea that this man will be addressing children under 18 becomes very worrying.

He was joined on the bill for this week by Hamza Tzortzis, a former Hizb-ut-Tahrir member who says that “we as Muslims reject the idea of freedom of speech, and even the idea of freedom”.  He also believes that “the Islamic Social Model can not be established successfully without a fully functioning Islamic Government, also known as the Khilafah” and is a supporter of barbaric punishments including amputation.           

A researcher at the Hittin Institute, Tzortzis wrote in a paper for the organisation that society must turn to “cohesive values that will bring us out of this social decay. It can be argued these cohesive values must be the Islamic values and the workable solution is the Islamic Social Model”.

These Islamist values were echoed by Adnan Rashid, another Hittin Institute researcher who spoke at Leyton College’s 'Discover Islaam Week' on Tuesday. He recently wrote that “the Islamic model supported by Shari’ah is a cohesive model that allows a diverse multitude of ethnicities to co-exist”.

He has also pushed the communally divisive idea that the West is attempting to destroy Islam, stating that “Islam’s legacy is deliberately hidden from the masses to justify the ongoing global persecution of the Muslims”.

The presence of these speakers at a Sixth Form College is deeply concerning and is something that we would hope that Leyton College would investigate immediately. Given that Al-Haddad was banned from appearing at the LSE in February, and denied permission to address students at London Metropolitan University in March, the College should be considering his suitability to address their pupils.