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Written by Student Rights on 16 May 2012 at 4pm

Haitham Al-Haddad and 'The Final Hour'

As the final term of the academic year comes to a close, students at Roehampton University are holding a fundraising event for Syria called ‘The Final Hour’. Focusing on the way in which the “deaths, oppression, wars and injustice” which fill the world signs of the final hour, they have invited Haitham al-Haddad to give a lecture on the 18th of May.

Alongside Dr Khalid Fikry, Al-Haddad will also participate in an “EXCLUSIVE Q&A SESSION” and students have been asked if they have “got any burning questions you wish to put forth to our guest speakers”.

Given that Al-Haddad, who we have written about numerous times in the past, has been accused of extreme anti-Semitism and has been barred from appearing at a number of universities, the idea that he is being presented as a figure that students could learn from is deeply concerning. 

He believes that homosexuality is a “criminal act” and a “scourge”, writing a deeply homophobic article called ‘Standing up against homosexuality and LGBTs’ for his online magazine ‘Islam21C’.

He has also been filmed defending Hamas, stating that the reason that they are opposed by the West is because “there is a high level of enmity and hatred against Hamas as a Muslim group”.

His views on the Middle East conflict have also included him saying that the Israeli Defence Force Operation Cast Lead in 2008-9 was a good thing as “many Muslims who left their religion became more convinced that they have to go back to their religion”.  

A London council member, jurist and judge for the Islamic Sharia Council, Al-Haddad has also supported the idea of Islam as a socio-political system, writing that “it is obligatory for those Muslims living under the shadow of man-made law to take all the necessary steps and means to make the law of Allah, the Creator and the Sustainer, supreme and manifest in all aspects of life”.

Here at Student Rights we have highlighted the prevalence of this man on campuses around the UK, and have found events featuring him as a speaker promoted to students on 17 occasions since October 2011. Two of these were subsequently cancelled by the university in response to pressure from campaigners including Student Rights.

The fact that he continues to be invited onto campuses by student Islamic Societies is something which universities and student unions should be looking into, and we would hope that Roehampton University would meet with their Islamic Society to discuss this matter.