Written by Student Rights on 2 October 2012 at 11am

Nottingham Trent Student Union challenges extremism on campus

Last week Student Rights logged an event that was due to take place at Nottingham Trent University called ‘The Life and Times of Salahuddin Al-Ayyubi’

Organised by Nottingham Islam Information Point and promoted to the Islamic Societies at both the Universities of Nottingham and Nottingham Trent, it featured Uthman Lateef as a speaker.

Involved in Daw'ah and outreach to new Muslims, the organisation has previously hosted Lateef this year despite his controversial views.

Lateef has told audiences that people should beware those advocating secularism as they “will sell you a democratic Islam, a socialist Islam, a social democratic Islam, every Islam except the Islam of Mohammed”.

He also claimed that “if we are teaching the way of life of the disbelievers, of the kuffar, Allah will bring humiliation upon us”.

In 2007 he made openly homophobic comments, stating  that “we don’t accept homosexuality...we hate it because Allah hates it”. 

Barred from speaking at London Metropolitan University earlier this year, Lateef’s views encourage communal division and discrimination, neither of which should be welcome on a UK campus without being challenged.

Encouragingly, this appears to be exactly what has happened at Nottingham Trent University, where the Student Union has decided to stand up to the promotion of intolerance by refusing Lateef permission to speak.

The event organisers have stated on their Facebook page that the event has been moved “because the Student Union of the Nottingham Trent University wouldn't allow Ustadh Uthman Lateef to conduct any lectures on University premises”.

They also published a statement from Nottingham Trent Student Union (NTSU) which reads:

NTSU is an organisation with 24,000 members from a diverse range of backgrounds. Our values, which are well established and publicised, reflect this. The NTSU Executive are aware that some of the opinions expressed and promoted by Mr Lateef are in conflict with these values”.

The event has now been moved to the Pakistan Centre in Nottingham, though it is still being promoted to students.

That NTSU have made this difficult decision is to be commended, and here at Student Rights we hope that more institutions will join them in either balancing events or banning speakers who promote hatred.