Abu Usamah and Assim Al-Hakeem ask 'Is anyone there?'
Update: Edited to remove comment wrongly attributed to Abu Usamah At-Thahabi.
The line up includes several speakers whose intolerant views have been highlighted by Student Rights in the past.
Chief amongst these will be one of the unwitting stars of that show, the hate preacher Abu Usamah At-Thahabi, who is currently an Imam at the Masjid.
During the investigation carried out by Channel 4, Thahabi was secretly filmed preaching homophobia, misogyny and social division.
This included telling listeners that homosexuality was punishable by death, stating “do you practice homosexuality with men? Take that homosexual man and throw him off the mountain”.
He also declared that “Allah has created the women, even if she gets a PhD, deficient. Her intellect is incomplete, deficient”.
Compounding this, he was also filmed telling his congregation that “we hate the people of the kufr [non-Muslims]. We hate the kuffar” and that “whoever changes his religion from al-Islam to anything else, kill him in the Islamic state”.
Despite his claims that he had been misrepresented and his remarks taken out of context, the media regulator OfCom found that there was “no evidence the broadcaster had misled the audience”.
In January Student Rights found that Thahabi had been invited to speak at Warwick University by the Islamic Society and contacted them with a summary of his views.
In response, the Islamic Society cancelled the event, telling us that had they been aware of his comments “we would have not invited him to talk at the University of Warwick at all”.
Thahabi will be joined at the Masjid this weekend by another individual with a record of hateful views called Assim Al-Hakeem.
In March 2012 Student Rights informed Hertfordshire University, Sheffield Hallam University and the University of East London of his virulent homophobia, and he was later barred from speaking at all three of these institutions.
Offering his advice in a Q&A section on his website, Al Hakeem had stated that “homosexuality is an illness and something that Allah despises” and told one individual that homosexuality turns LGBT people into “animals that seek only their sexual satisfaction through their weird ways”.
In a video found on YouTube he can also be heard claiming that homosexuality is “not something that is natural” and is “an abnormality which must be treated”.
He then states that in the Old Testament the punishment was death by stoning, which also fits his views on the punishment for apostasy, which he repeatedly states on his website is death.
His intolerance also spreads to the rights of women, telling one questioner who asks “my husband libido is too high, he is requiring me three times a day. What can I do?” that “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”.
Promoted to students by the Islamic Society at Nottingham Trent University, this conference presents these individuals as figures of religious authority despite their divisive and bigoted beliefs.
Here at Student Rights we hope that most Muslim students, who would be appalled by such views, read this article and decide that intolerant speakers like these are not worth listening to.