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Written by Student Rights on 29 January 2014 at 1pm

Haitham Al-Haddad speaks at Kingston after London Met cancellation

The ease with which extreme or intolerant speakers can access campuses in the UK was highlighted this week with the start of Kingston University Islamic Society’s ‘Sisters Week’.

The first event of the week on Monday, ‘Time to Reconnect’, featured Haitham Al-Haddad, described by the Islamic Society as a “knowledgeable Sheikh”.

However, just last week we wrote of how Haddad had been due to speak at London Metropolitan University on that night, before being cancelled by the university.

Haddad has claimed that the death penalty for apostasy “does make perfect sense”, and thatthe scourge of homosexuality” is a “criminal act”.

He has also claimed that “a man should not be questioned why he hit his wife, because this is something between them”, and that those who criticise him are part of a “smear campaign conducted by the British Zionist lobby”.

In addition to this, he has expressed rhetorical support for militant groups like Hamas, proscribed as a terrorist organisation in the UK.

The fact that he appeared at Kingston University on Monday shows that despite these views, and despite being cancelled at London Met, he was still able to address a student audience this week.

While it is encouraging to see universities like London Met stand up to speakers such as Haddad, the fact that they are able to appear elsewhere so easily shows the extent of the issue highlighted by the  government’s recent task force report into challenging extremism.