Written by Student Rights on 9 August 2012 at 6pm

Islamia Village and it's intolerant inhabitants (Update: Event also promoted by London Met ISOC)

UPDATE: This event has now also been promoted to students by the London Metropolitan University Islamic Society.

This August Bank Holiday, the Thorpe Underwood Estate in York will become home to Islamia Village, a weekend retreat organised by the Islamic Network Project.

Featuring a number of lectures by clerics from all over the UK, the event is billed as “a dream come true”, where attendees can enjoy the leisure facilities between listening to their favourite preachers.

However, the identity of several of these speakers has raised real concerns about who Islamic Network Project has invited to address their visitors.


Student Rights would normally not focus on something like this unless there was a connection to university campuses, but on the 6th August a link to the retreat website was shared via Facebook with students at the Sheffield Hallam University Islamic Society.

This has since been removed from the Facebook page, and Student Rights have contacted the head of the Islamic Society to ask why this was but are yet to receive a response.

With an adult ticket costing a hefty £175, this event is most likely beyond the means of most students, yet the individuals invited to speak are still worth highlighting.

They include Murtaza Khan, who was also filmed in 2007 asking “for how long do we have to see our mothers, sisters and daughters having to uncover themselves before these filthy non-Muslim doctors?

Khan has also described homosexuality as an “abominable action which goes against humanity” and stated that the correct punishment for such acts is death.

He will be joined by another deeply intolerant cleric called Assim Al-Hakeem, who Student Rights campaigned against earlier this year when he was barred from speaking at three separate UK universities.

Al-Hakeem’s website hosts a number of virulently homophobic statements, including that homosexuality turns people into “animals that seek only their sexual satisfaction through their weird ways”.

He also responds to a question asking him “how can I deal with this problem homosexual [sic]? I can’t stop or control it” by stating that “homosexuality is an illness and something that Allah despises” and that the individual should “try and stay away from whatever reminds you of this filth”.

The Q&A section on this website also repeatedly claims that the punishment for apostasy is death as well as answering a woman who asks “my husband libido is too high, he is requiring me three times a day. What can I do?” by saying “It is not permissible for a wife to refuse fulfilling her husband’s desire. You should answer his calls as this is not physically hurting you. If you can’t do that for no legitimate reason you are sinful”.

Also present will be two members of the Islamic Education and Research Academy (IERA), whose Olympic Da’wah activity continues to be promoted to students as per our article last week.

The Director of the organisation, Abdurraheem Green, and one of the group’s researchers, Hamza Tzortzis, are both listed as speakers despite being criticised for statements they have made in the past.

Green has declared that “Islam is not compatible with democracy" and  that a husband may use "physical force... a very light beating" against his wife, whilst Tzortzis is famous  for declaring that that "we as Muslims reject the idea of freedom of speech, and even the idea of freedom".

The event also includes the homophobic preacher Abu Usamah At-Thahabi, who was disinvited from giving a speech by the Warwick University Islamic Society in January 2012 when they were informed by Student Rights of his intolerant views.

These include claiming that “whoever changes his religion from al-Islam to anything else, kill him in the Islamic state” and stating that “we hate the people of the kufr (non-Muslims). We hate the kuffar and that the punishment for homosexuality was death, asking “do you practice homosexuality with men? Take that homosexual man and throw him off the mountain”.

Finally, Abuz Zubair, who gained notoriety earlier this year when he responded to Usama Hasan’s support for evolution at Masjid Tawheed with what could be construed as thinly veiled death threats, will be appearing at the retreat.

Zubair declared that “the call to evolution is a call to kufr and apostasy” and quoted a fatwa of Ibn al-Uthaymeen which stated that someone who teaches evolution “should be stopped by any means necessary even if it means his execution” and that if teaching continues “this person should be executed because he is an apostate and apostates are executed”.

If the promotion of this event was removed from the Islamic Society Facebook page due to concerns about the nature of the speakers then credit is due to those administering the group.

However, the fact that a video of the convicted Al-Qaeda facilitator Dr Aafia Siddique still remains on the page suggests that this may be unlikely.

Instead this appears to simply be another example of an event featuring an array of extremist speakers being advertised to students at a British university, something that has been unfortunately common over the past few years.