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Written by Student Rights on 20 May 2015 at 6am

Muhammad Salah and the University of Greenwich

On 9 May, the Islamic Society at the University of Greenwich released a poster for an ‘Annual Dinner’ event called ‘The Promise of Allah & The Promise of Shaytaan’.

Due to take place on 5 June, the event was to feature Muhammad Salah as a “special guest”, who would have been an extremely controversial speaker.

He has claimed that Muslims and non-Muslims may not marry, and suggested apostates should be executed in an ideal state.

Salah has also stated: “Allah orders us to fight against those who fight against us. If we sit back and we dismiss the army and the military of the Muslim countries, tomorrow the Zionists will take over”.

This is likely connected to his view that “most of the crimes which are happening worldwide right now, or in the past 50 years, there is a link to the Zionist criminals”.

On 14 May however, an updated poster stated that Salah’s mother had fallen ill, and that he was therefore unable to attend the event.

While it is unclear if this was the real reason for the cancellation, or if the university had stepped in, it is worrying that he was even considered in the first place.

The invite also throws doubts upon the conclusions of a report released by the university in October 2014 in response to the murder of Fusilier Lee Rigby by a former Greenwich student, which stated:

…there was no evidence at the present time of radicalisation or violent extremism in the university, its union or societies”.

Salah’s planned presence at the event was also promoted by the London branch of the Federation of Student Islamic Societies (FOSIS London), and by students at London Metropolitan University.

In FOSIS London’s case, this took place alongside promotion for an event featuring Haitham Al-Haddad, demonstrating the group’s wider support for speakers with a history of extremist rhetoric.   

Regardless of the reasons for his replacement, it is good to know that Salah will now no longer being appearing on-campus next month.

However, despite the cancellation, questions remain about why students at the University of Greenwich, as well as at London Met and FOSIS, thought Salah to be a desirable speaker.