Written by Student Rights on 31 October 2013 at 6pm

Uthman Lateef booked to speak at Brunel University

On 18 October Student Rights highlighted that Uthman Lateef had been dropped from a speaking engagement by Education Aid for Palestinians (EAP) after a campaign by activists including the Peter Tatchell Foundation.

Despite EAP deciding that his anti-democratic and homophobic preaching was not suitable for their event, the same is clearly not true of Brunel University Islamic Society, who will be hosting Lateef at an event tonight entitled ‘The Pursuit of Happiness’.

Lateef is the former director of the Hittin Institute, an organisation which “regard[ed] grossly erroneous any allusion to Islam’s separating of politics with belief”.

He has also attacked “democratic Islam”, stating that “if we are teaching the way of life of the disbelievers, of the kuffar, Allah will bring humiliation on us”.

In 2007 he was also recorded telling students at Queen Mary University that “we don’t accept homosexuality...we hate it because Allah hates it”.

Brunel University Islamic Society has been highlighted before by Student Rights for inviting extremist speakers onto campus, hosting Abu Usamah At-Thahabi in November 2012.

This led to a protest on campus by students, and to positive discussions between the Islamic Society and LGBT Society over the hurt and offence that could be caused by inviting speakers with a history of homophobia onto campus.

It is therefore disappointing to see the Islamic Society inviting Lateef onto campus in this way without considering the feelings of their fellow students.  

Here at Student Rights we hope that the Brunel LGBT Society will raise this issue with the Islamic Society, and we will be contacting both the university and the Islamic Society to register our concern about this issue.