Article
13 May 2013 at 2pm

The Telegraph: Extremist Islamist leaders preaching to UK students, says study

By Melanie Hall

13th May 2013

A total of 180 events promoted by union-affiliated societies had talks given by people who had “a history of extreme or intolerant views”, according to a study of external speakers at 21 universities, which also included University College London and Birmingham.

More than a quarter of those public talks held by Islamic societies in the year until March are thought to have had segregated seating for male and female students.

Two institutions have announced investigations into segregated meetings, although research by Student Rights – which was set up to tackle extremism on university campuses – suggest that the practice is prevalent across the UK, despite it being forbidden by university equality rules.

Some of the speakers have a history of misogyny, promoting violence against homosexuals and advocating jihad against non-Muslims, as a new generation of extremist speakers inspired by radical clerics such as Abu Qatada tour campuses to spread their version of Islam.

Anthony Glees, an intelligence and security expert consulted by the All-Party Parliamentary Homeland Security Group, said: “Clearly, there’s a failing in our higher education system.

 “We can, and should, stop radicalisation on campus by extremists who believe in segregation, otherwise more students and graduates will eventually embrace terror. Terrorists are not born, they are made.”

The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills, which is responsible for higher education, does not intervene or set guidelines on segregation or extremists teaching on campus, the Times reported.

A spokesman for the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills said: “If the university is organising an event with segregated seating, that would be an issue for them. We wouldn’t want to be seen as getting in the way of how they operate on a day-to-day basis."

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