Written by Student Rights on 19 September 2014 at 7am

Fadel Soliman promoted to students in Sheffield

As students return to universities across the UK for the beginning of the new academic year, concerns about extremists being invited onto campuses are likely to accompany them.

However, it is important that universities also remain vigilant against the promotion of off-campus events featuring extremists to students.

Over the upcoming weekend three events featuring Fadel Soliman will take place from Manchester to Sheffield, while a fourth took place in Sheffield last Friday.

Student Rights has discovered that all four of these events have been promoted via Facebook to students at the University of Sheffield, showing why off-campus events should be of concern.

Presenting the course of workshops intended to “discipline and purify the mind, heart, and body” this weekend, Fadel Soliman has a well-documented history of extremist preaching.

He has endorsed brutal punishments for sex outside of marriage, claiming that “the specified punishment for a person guilty of fornication is 100 lashes”, and defended amputation as a punishment for theft.

He has also indulged in anti-Semitic conspiracy theory, arguingIsraelis are in complete control of US foreign policy through their lobby in the US”.

In 2007 he was also reported to have excused the killing of US soldiers fighting in Iraq, and cites the Egyptian Islamist Sayid Qutb as one of his main influences.

That events featuring Soliman are being promoted via social media to students highlights how extremists are keen to target them - and universities should be aware of this.

It also demonstrates the importance of ensuring that student societies sign up to social media ‘Codes of Conduct’, and that these include provisions to challenge the promotion of extremist events and material.