Written by Student Rights on 26 July 2012 at 5pm

Ramadan dinner in Bradford features questionable speakers

Earlier this month Student Rights noticed that an event called ‘Prayer of the Prisoner’ was due to take place at a number of locations around the country at the end of the month.

Including Blackburn, London and Reading, this event takes the shape of a Ramadan dinner featuring a number of speakers and is organised by the CagePrisoners organisation.

Tomorrow the first of these meals will be held in Bradford, and this event has been promoted to student members of the Bradford University Islamic Society.

Speaking at the event will be a number of individuals whose presence on British university campuses Student Rights have highlighted in the past.

Dr Uthman Lateef, who was refused permission to appear at London Metropolitan University in March 2012, told an audience in 2009 that “if we are teaching the way of life of the disbelievers, of the kuffar, Allah will bring humiliation on us”.

He also has a record of homophobia, stating in 2007 that “we don’t accept homosexuality...we hate it because Allah hates it” and has attacked those advocating a “democratic Islam”.

He will be joined by Imam Shakeel Begg who was found in 2006 to have told students at Kingston University “You want to make jihad? Very good […] Take some money and go to Palestine and fight, fight the terrorists, fight the Zionists”.

Speaking alongside these two clerics will be two senior members of CagePrisoners, Moazzam Begg and Asim Qureshi.

According to an article in the Wall Street Journal Begg, who spoke at Aston University in February 2012, has admitted that he was “responsible for small arms and mountain tactics training” in camps on the Afghan border in the late 1990s and funded Afghan training camps closely linked to al-Qaeda.

His colleague Qureshi, listed as the Executive Director of CagePrisoners, spoke at a Hizb ut-Tahrir rally in 2006 and told the crowd “when we see the examples of our brothers and sisters, fighting in Chechnya, Iraq, Palestine, Kashmir, Afghanistan, then we know where the example lies.

When we see Hezbollah defeating the armies of Israel, we know what the solution is, and where the victory lies. We know that it is incumbent upon all of us to support the jihad of our brothers and sisters in these countries when they are facing the oppression of the West”.

Added to this support for violent action, the video promotion for the event includes an extract from a speech by Ali Al-Tamimi, convicted in 2005 of a raft of offences includingsoliciting others to levy war against the United States” and “attempting to contribute services to the Taliban”.

Despite this plethora of convictions the video includes a caption which claims that he has been unjustly imprisoned “for speaking about Islam”.

That students are being encouraged to attend an off-campus event featuring such speakers, hosted by an organisation which believes a man like Al-Tamimi is innocent, is deeply concerning.

It further highlights the ease with which extremists can spread their message to students and can provide one-sided events to promote their agenda.

Here at Student Rights we would urge students to treat any event featuring a line-up of speakers like this with extreme caution, and hope that those who do attend are not seduced by their message of intolerance.