Zahir Mahmood to speak at Aston University
This weekend will see Aston University host a two day event organised by the As-Suffa Institute entitled ‘Abu Bakr – His Life and Achievements’.
Based in Birmingham, the organisation “is committed to serving the immediate and wider community through the application of traditional Islamic knowledge to contemporary society”.
It runs a number of courses on both Islamic history and law, and has a team of scholars including Zahir Mahmood who give sermons and lectures.
The speaker for this weekend’s event, Mahmood has declared that “Hamas are not terrorists, they’re freedom fighters” and has attacked the modern trappings of Western lifestyle and Western foreign policy.
He has also spread the message that there is a conflict between Islam and the West, saying that “...the reality is, a glance at European history, you will see that they are only doing what their forefathers have done for over 1,000 years. They have been vilifying, demonising the Muslims, Islam, and especially the prophet...there’s been a deep enmity and a deep history. The only difference today is that they use the spin of freedom of speech”.
Despite describing himself as a moderate, Mahmood’s support of an anti-Semitic paramilitary group listed by the British government as a terrorist organisation should raise serious questions at Aston University.
Given that tickets for the event are being offered to students for a discount price of £30, it is also clear that As-Suffa Institute are targeting a younger audience to promote their message to.
Here at Student Rights we would hope that the university would ensure that it monitors this event to ensure that there is no opportunity for Mahmood to preach intolerance to students.