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Written by Student Rights on 14 August 2012 at 3pm

Another Awlaki video highlights a continuing issue

Here at Student Rights we are becoming accustomed to seeing videos featuring the Al-Qaeda-linked cleric Anwar Al-Awlaki being shared on student Facebook Pages.

This is despite Awlaki’s links to the attempted bombing of Flight 253 over Detroit by former UCL student Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab in 2009, and the inspiration Roshonara Chaudry found in his sermons before she tried to assassinate the Labour MP Stephen Timms.

This week we have found that yet another video containing one of Awlaki’s sermons has been shared with students at the University of Westminster via the Facebook page of the University Islamic Society.

This is the same society which earlier this year was used to share speeches by an individual convicted of terrorism offences here in the UK, a man listed as a ‘Specially Designated Terrorist Individual’ by the US government, and by Awlaki himself.

Just two weeks ago we also highlighted that a video of the convicted Al-Qaeda facilitator Dr Aafia Siddique had been shared with students at the university’s Global Ideas Society, something that drew an angry response from the society head who claimed that he was “happy to be supporting my Muslim sister”.

That the Facebook pages of these societies continue to be used to promote the ideas of such individuals is deeply concerning, as is the apparent belief demonstrated that Awlaki is a credible religious figure who should be listened to. 

As we have stated before, challenging this issue must be something which students and university authorities work together on, yet it is clear that at some universities there is still some way to go.