Written by Student Rights on 27 February 2014 at 6pm

Sixth form college students share Syrian fighter post

The extent to which extremism is a concern within the Further Education sector is difficult to gauge, particularly as in the words of Prevent, “there has been much less activity in the further education sector than in universities” to counter it.

However, it is clear that problems do exist, and in April 2012 Student Rights reported on the invitation of extreme speakers including Haitham Al-Haddad to Leyton Sixth Form College.

This week evidence of extremism in the sector has reappeared, with Student Rights sent a Facebook post shared by the Islamic Society at City and Islington College.

Since deleted, the post showed a picture of the Islamic State of Iraq and Al-Sham fighter Iftikar Jaman, killed in Syria in December, and described him as a “shaheed” [martyr].

The picture also included a quote from Jaman which read:

I did not come here for Doula [ISIS], nor did I come here for Jabhat [Al-Nusra]. I came here to be among those who are trying to make Allah’s word the highest”.

This sentiment is described by the Islamic Society as something which “should be an inspiration for us all”.

Given that a number of young men and women have already travelled to fight in the conflict in Syria, or been arrested attempting to fund such activity, there are real concerns that men like Jaman are gaining cult status.

Unfortunately, this post suggests such fears may be accurate, and as a result both Further Education colleges and universities will have to be aware of such activity in future, and make sure that social media policy is carefully discussed with students.