Haitham Al-Haddad to address student society Charity Dinner
With Charities Week underway on campuses across the UK, it appears that the Islamic Society at the University of Westminster have attempted to obscure their booking of an extremist speaker for tonight’s main event.
Highlighted by Student Rights on numerous occasions, Haddad has a history of homophobia, misogyny, religious intolerance and rhetorical support for violent groups.
In a virulently homophobic article called ‘Standing up against Homosexuality and LGBTs’, Haddad has written of “the scourge of homosexuality”, which he calls a “criminal act”.
His appalling attitudes towards women are highlighted by a comment he made in which he declared that “a man should not be questioned why he hit his wife, because this is something between them”.
In addition to this he has also claimed that “the most honourable and worthy role for a woman is striving to be a fine wife...this role does not only secure the best for a woman in the hereafter, but also fits perfectly with her natural disposition”
He has also defended the anti-Semitic militant group Hamas, proscribed as a terrorist organisation in the UK, claiming that the group is only opposed by the West as “there is a high level of enmity and hatred against Hamas as a Muslim group”.
That the Islamic Society has attempted to hide the identity of their guest highlights the challenges faced by universities in tackling the problem posed by extremist speakers on campus.
Given that event promotional material also features a University of Westminster Student Union logo, and the Union is regulated by charity law, it may also be worth the union considering the potential damage to its reputation that this association with Haddad could cause.
Here at Student Rights we have contacted the university to ensure that they are aware of Haddad’s invitation, and hope that they will investigate immediately.