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Written by Student Rights on 19 January 2010 at 12pm

Controversy at Birmingham University

Last week we were informed that on the 20th of January, Azzam Al-Tamimi, a man who has endorsed Hamas will be speaking by invitation at the University of Birmingham.  The event entitled, "In Pursuit of Justice: Remember Gaza" is organised by the university's Islamic society (ISOC).

The choice of speaker, Tamimi, has a long history of explicit support for Hamas. Most notoriously, in November 2004 he told the BBC’s “Hard Talk” programme that he would become a suicide bomber himself if he could mobtain an Israeli visa.

His forthcoming appearance has been criticised by the Centre for Social Cohesion, a think tank that highlights Islamic radicalism in Britain. Its director, Douglas Murray, said: “Birmingham University is clearly in denial. Our letter to them unmistakably demonstrates that Azzam Tamimi has repeatedly supported violent jihadist acts, and their Director of Academic Services has completely refused to acknowledge this.

A spokesman for the university said: “The University of Birmingham has a code of practice on freedom of speech on campus, and those seeking to invite outside speakers onto campus must fill in a freedom of speech request form at least 15 days before the proposed event."