Article
Written by Student Rights on 24 September 2013 at 7pm

Westminster students promote Hizb ut-Tahrir campaign to freshers (Update: Statement from University)

UPDATE: A statement from a spokesperson at the University of Westminster has addressed Student Rights' concerns, and reads:

"The University acknowledges concerns about the distribution of such literature and has discussed the matter with the Students’ Union and The Global Ideas Society”.

As Freshers’ Weeks begin across the UK, Student Rights has found that students at the University of Westminster have been promoting the Hizb ut-Tahrir (HT) organised ‘Know Muhammad’ campaign to new students.

The Global Ideas Society hosted stalls at the Marylebone Campus on the 17th, Regent Street Campus on the 18th, and Cavendish Campus on 19th September, where members gave out information packs downloaded from the campaign website.

This is despite the fact that HT is ‘No-Platformed’ by the National Union of Students (NUS) as a fascist organisation, as the University of Westminster does not subscribe to the policy.

 

The Prevent Strategy also states that HT “...target specific universities and colleges (notably those with a large number of Muslim students) with the objective of radicalising and recruiting students”.

The activities of the Global Ideas Society and its connections to HT have been highlighted in the past by Student Rights.

In March 2012 the society hosted Jamal Harwood, a senior member of the group at a talk entitled ‘Economic Future: The Real Solutions’, during which a Jewish student was jeered for asking Harwood to condemn anti-Semitic literature found on a Hizb ut-Tahrir website.

Harwood refused to do so, stating that “you have to distinguish between a war and a non-war” and that “Palestine is occupied land and there is a war going on”.

The group has also hosted another member of HT called Adnan Khan on more than one occasion, and has promoted a number of other HT events via social media.

  Whilst the Student Union and university may have been unaware of the Global Ideas Society’s Freshers' activity, this seems unlikely given the large presence the group had at these events.  

That the group is able to so openly share material from campaign organised by Hizb ut-Tahrir with students just arriving at university is deeply concerning and should be investigated immediately.

Here at Student Rights we have raised our concerns about the Global Ideas Society with the University of Westminster in the past, yet the society does not appear to have been challenged.

Given this new incident has come so close to the beginning of term, this should be seen as an opportunity by Westminster to reassess its relationship with the society, and make clear that such behaviour will not be tolerated.

All photographs property of Global Ideas Society