Written by Student Rights on 4 June 2013 at 3pm

Women's rights used to promote Islamist ideology to students

Over the past few months Student Rights has been cataloguing a number of events (see here and here) which appear to be promoting feminist ideas, yet in reality cover an authoritarian Islamist ideology.

Universities have been also used by campaigners to host events promoting the implementation of Islamic governance, which is hidden behind a veil of social conservatism masquerading as liberation.

These events are regularly promoted by the Facebook page ‘Women against oppression – Liberation through Islam’.

This is a group which describes itself as “female Muslim students” who “aim to engage in discussion about current issues affecting women and students locally and abroad, giving the Islamic perspective on these issues”.

On Saturday 6th June an event it has promoted will take place at the Waterlily in East London.

Called ‘Revival of the Sisterhood’, the event does not include any reference to the speakers’ links to Hizb ut-Tahrir (HT) on the promotional material.

The speakers include Nazreen Nawaz, described as a “doctor” in the promotional notes. What is not mentioned is that Dr Nawaz is HT’s leading female representative in the UK.

In 2010 Ofcom ruled that Dr Nawaz condoned marital rape after she said “the idea that a woman cannot refuse her husband's relations, this is not strange to a Muslim because it is part of maintaining that strong marriage”.

Nawaz will be joined by Shohana Khan, who writes on women and Islam for the Huffington Post, and is described in her bio section as a “freelance writer”.

Ms Khan is actually Hizb ut-Tahrir’s ‘Women’s Deputy Media Representative’, and has claimed that “Muslim women want more Islam and more Shari'ah, along with the restrictive social practices this would entail.

In addition, her support of harsh punishments for sex outside of marriage, segregation by gender, and “making a lustful glance at a woman a crime” highlights the dictatorial nature of her ideas.

Khan has addressed a student group at the University of Westminster called the ‘Women’s Take on Current Affairs Society (WTCA), which a student suggested is treated as a faith group by the university.

There are also videos on YouTube of both Sultanah Parvin, another senior HT figure, and Julie Breen, who is the final speaker at next Saturday’s event, appearing at WTCA events.

Breen was also the guest of the ‘Global Aspirations of Women Society’ at the University of Manchester when the event chair was recorded stating that homosexuals would be executed in an Islamic society and that homosexuality was an “atrocity”.

This trend suggests that there is a concerted effort by HT to use the language of women’s rights to promote its intolerant brand of Islam.

Given that the organisation is ‘No Platformed’ by the National Union of Students (NUS), and was described by Prevent as “target[ing]specific universities and colleges...with the objective of radicalising and recruiting students” this must not be allowed to happen.