Article
Written by Student Rights on 28 January 2015 at 10am

IERA speaker appears at UCL despite ban

Last week Student Rights highlighted the continued promotion of Dawah training events held by the Islamic Education and Research Academy (IERA), and the effects they could have on students.

IERA is currently barred from operating at University College London (UCL) – yet this has not stopped one of these events from being arranged on campus this week.

In a poster circulated on Facebook, the Islamic Society has announced that the IERA speaker, Salahuddin Patel, will be giving students an “Intro to Dawah” today.

Given the evidence that IERA speakers target students for recruitment – and the success of this policy – detailed in our post last week, this should concern UCL.

The same is true of the views of other members of the group, including Hamza Tzortzis, who claims that apostates “fighting against the community, they should be killed”.

IERA members have also excused domestic violence and claimed Islam and democracy are incompatible, as well as suggesting that homosexuality “is bad for you”.

UCL’s concern should be compounded by the fact that the event will be followed next week on 6th February by one featuring Alomgir Ali of the Muslim Research and Development Foundation (MRDF).

Founded by the extreme cleric Haitham Al-Haddad, the MRDF provides speakers for on-campus events, and Ali has become popular in the past year, appearing more than 10 times in 2014.

He has spoken at an event held to support those imprisoned for terrorism offences, and also claimed: “...for a woman, it is best for her to stay in her home, because her home is a natural form of a hijab”.

That today's event was advertised less than 24 hours before it was due to take place highlights one of the challenges faced by institutions in ensuring extremists do not have free rein on campus.

It also demonstrates the difficulty in keeping even individuals from banned organisations off-campus - raising questions about how effectively universities will fulfill any future statutory obligations to challenge extremism.