Written by Student Rights on 19 November 2012 at 7pm

City University Islamic Society and its stealthy event

In the European Parliament last week Student Rights’ researcher Rupert Sutton discussed how a number of Islamic Societies have been able to avoid the oversight of university authorities by moving events off-campus.

At City University the Islamic Society was using another tactic, only announcing an event featuring the extremist cleric Haitham Al-Haddad on the day it was due to take place.

In July 2012 Haddad wrote in his online magazine ‘Islam21C’ that society should stand up to “the scourge of homosexuality” as it was a “criminal act” that must be opposed.

He has also been accused of extreme anti-Semitism following a number of speeches he gave at the al-Muntada al-Islami mosque in London. In these he is alleged to have described Jews as “the enemies of God, and the descendants of apes and pigs” and “the eternal enemies”.

Haddad has been filmed defending the Islamist paramilitary group Hamas, designated as a terrorist organisation by the British government, and has claimed that they are opposed in the West because “there is a high level of enmity and hatred against Hamas as a Muslim group”.

During Operation Cast Lead in 2008-9 he also claimed that the conflict in the Middle East was a good thing as “many Muslims who left their religion became more convinced that they have to go back to their religion”.

Haddad has also been banned from appearing at both the London School of Economics and London Metropolitan University in the past year.

However, the fact that the Islamic Society at City University was able to get away with hosting him demonstrates that some universities are still unable to effectively deal with extremist speakers utilising campuses to spread intolerance.

Here at Student Rights we would urge the university to discuss this issue with its Islamic Society, and to ensure that a transparent and consistent policy in put in place when dealing with speakers, as per recommendations made in our report ‘Challenging Extremists: Practical frameworks for our Universities’.