Written by Student Rights on 13 May 2013 at 4pm

The Sun: New generation of radical Islamists preach at UK universities

By David Woode

13th May 2013

A new generation of radical Islamists preached to university students at more than 200 events last year, a study has found.

Gender segregation was reported at a quarter of speaking events organised by Islamic societies at 21 universities.

A crop of extremist speakers - inspired by the likes of radical Muslim cleric Abu Qatada - have toured institutions to preach their interpretation of Islam.

Some are said to have promoted jihad against non-Muslims and violence against homosexuals.

The study was carried out by Student Rights, a campaign group set up to tackle extremism on university campuses.

Security expert Professor Anthony Glees said the research showed there is 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."

He added: "Terrorists are not born, they are made."

In the year to March 2013, events promoted by university societies boasted 180 speakers with a history of “extreme or intolerant” views.

Other speakers who have appeared at British universities include Dr Khalid Fikry, an Egyptian cleric who has previously defended convicted terrorists.

Prolific radical Hamza Tzortzis appeared at Cambridge University in February.

Tzortzis, who is a former member of radical group Hizb ut-Tahrir, has previously said that Muslims “reject the idea of freedom of speech and even the idea of freedom”.

The study comes after two universities, University College London and Leicester, have launched investigations into segregation at events organised by their Islamic societies.

The Department for Business, Skills and Education is responsible for higher education but does not dictate on gender separation or extremist teachings on campuses.

But Raheem Kassam, director of Students Rights, said he was “distraught” that university campuses can be used to segregate women.

He said: “The acceptance of segregation on campuses is a far more serious issue than previously thought.”