Written by Student Rights on 4 April 2013 at 3pm

Banned preacher's books handed out on Keele campus

Several weeks ago Student Rights was contacted by a student after material handed out at an event organised by the Islamic Society at Keele University shocked attendees.

Distributed by several members of the Islamic Society at the event was a booklet called ‘Answers to Non-Muslims' Common Questions about Islam’ authored by the Indian cleric Dr Zakir Naik.

Naik was barred from entering the UK in 2010 due to a number of comments, including a claim that if Osama Bin Laden was “terrorising the terrorist, if he is terrorising America the terrorist, biggest terrorist, I am with him. Every Muslim should be a terrorist”.

He has also declared that “homosexuality is forbidden in Islam and the punishment for homosexuality is death”.

Since the event we have been able to find a copy of the booklet circulated, and can reveal that it supports a number of deeply concerning ideas:

Page 12 - “If Islamic Shariah is implemented in any part of the world, whether it is America or Europe, society will breathe easier”.

Page 17 - “Every Muslim should be a terrorist... every Muslim should be a terrorist for the antisocial elements of society, such as thieves, dacoits [bandits] and rapists”.

Page 27 - “The pig is the most shameless animal on the face of the earth. It is the only animal that invites its friends to have sex with its mate...If you eat pigs then you behave like pigs”.

Page 33- “[A] witness can be one man and two women, so that if one of the women errs the other can remind her”.

Page 46 - “[The] Hijab has been prescribed for the women so that they are recognized as modest women this would prevent them from being molested”.

Dresses that expose more than they conceal, are an indirect temptation to the opposite sex for teasing, molestation and rape”.

Page 47 - “The media is in the hands of the westerners who are afraid of Islam. The media is continuously broadcasting and printing information against Islam”.

Page 44 - “[If amputation was punishment for thievery] Only a few person’s hands would be chopped off but millions would live peacefully without fear of being robbed. Islamic Shariah is therefore practical, and achieves results”.

Page 49 - “If a ‘non-Muslim’ considers being called a ‘non-Muslim’ or ‘Kafir’, which are one and the same, an abuse, it is due to his misunderstanding about Islam”.

The publication is rumoured to have come from Islamic Dawah Centre International in Birmingham, which confirmed in a telephone call that it supplies this publication, is currently out of stock, and continues to serve university campuses.

Whilst these views are intolerant and bigoted, it should be noted that on learning of the booklet's contents, members of the Islamic Society quickly disavowed it and apologised.

Furthermore, in discussions on Facebook, a number of Muslim students criticised the decision to hand it out, with one committee member stating “I was shocked upon hearing the booklet”.

Another student told members of the Keele Atheist Society that Zakir Naik’s book “has many answers which have no Islamic basis and is based upon opinion and perception. I can only apologise for such a booklet being distributed”.

It is encouraging to see students engaging in dialogue this way, and this does not appear to have damaged campus relations at Keele.

Here at Student Rights we feel that this mature approach from the Islamic Society should be applauded, yet we would also hope that the university staff will sit down with them to discuss both the source of these booklets, and the importance of checking any material before handing it out.