Written by Student Rights on 9 April 2013 at 5pm

HHUGS fundraiser promoted to students

Of all the messages that we find promoted on campuses here at Student Rights, perhaps the most concerning is the support for Muslim prisoners and the charities which fund-raise on their behalf.

This weekend, on 6th April, Helping Households under Great Stress (HHUGS), a charity we have discussed in the past, held an annual fundraising event entitled ‘Shattered Lives’.

Promoted to students by Islamic Societies at Kingston and City Universities, and to the Queen Mary University Ideological Society by a student fundraising for the group, the event featured Dr Uthman Lateef as a speaker.

Lateef has been featured by Student Rights before, and has attackeddemocratic Islam”, stating that “if we are teaching the way of life of the disbelievers, of the kuffar, Allah will bring humiliation on us

On Facebook the day after the HHUGS event, Lateef claimed that “around 160k was raised at yesterday's Hhugs annual dinner. A great event supporting the families of our imprisoned brothers”.

Given that this event was promoted to students across London, the likelihood that some of this money had come from students encouraged to donate is relatively high.

In November, Student Rights revealed that a ‘Justice Week’ at Queen Mary had also raised money for HHUGS, despite the group’s extreme nature.

HHUGS claims that it exists to provide “practical support and advice to households devastated by the arrest of a family member under UK anti-terror legislation”.

It states that it’s beneficiaries do not include convicted prisoners, yet in February 2012 videos and articles, including one by the extremist cleric Haitham Al-Haddad, appeared on the website.

These attacked the conviction of Munir Farooqi for soliciting to murder, as well as flirting with conspiracy theory, arguing that “until Osama Bin Ladens [sic] death he was not charged with any crime related to 9/11 nor was any evidence produced”.

Ludicrously, for an organisation that stakes its respectability on not supporting those convicted of offences, the same article also declared in response to the question “But wasn’t he found guilty?”:

Munir Farooqi was convicted on the evidence of two undercover police officers. There was no forensic evidence against him”.

What causes students donate their money to is of course their own business, yet the ease with which HHUGS events can be promoted on campus is frustrating.

If we are to truly challenge extremism on our campuses, surely opposing those who support for individuals convicted of extremist offences is the place to start?