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Written by Student Rights on 3 July 2012 at 6pm

Global Ideas Society President shares pictures from Hizb ut-Tahrir conference

Last week Student Rights highlighted the way in which the Facebook pages of university societies were being used to promote this year’s Khilafah Conference, organised by the extremist Islamist group Hizb ut-Tahrir.

Since then the conference has taken place and photographs which appear to be taken from the audience during the main speeches have been shared by the University of Westminster’s Global Ideas Society on their Facebook page.

The head of the society, an individual heavily involved in inviting Hizb ut-Tahrir’s Jamal Harwood to speak at the University of Westminster, has also published these pictures on his Twitter account.

He also used this account to quote one of the speeches from Imran Waheed, a senior member of the organisation, picking out a statement that "this year more Americans have killed themselves than on the battlefield". 

The links between this student, who we revealed last week was telling his Twitter followers “for tickets please let me know!”, and Hizb ut Tahrir’s annual gathering further highlight the group’s use of campus activism.

In our recent report we profiled the head of the Global Ideas Society, and detailed his group’s connections to an organisation subject to a National Union of Students ‘No Platform’ policy. We also provided a number of recommendations, including that universities and student unions work harder to identify potential ‘front-groups’ for extremist organisations subject to the ‘No Platform’ policy.

In this case, the links between the Global Ideas Society and Hizb ut-Tahrir should warrant an investigation by the University of Westminster student union.

However, as the President and Vice-president of the union are also ‘No-Platformed’ by the NUS for suspected Hizb ut-Tahrir membership this would unfortunately be unlikely to get off the ground.

Instead, university authorities should themselves be looking into this issue, weighing up the potential damage to freedom of expression if the society were to be banned, and acting accordingly. Applying a ‘No Platform’ policy consistently, particularly to those groups which spread extremist material on campuses, should be a priority if we are to effectively challenge this problem.