Westminster says 'NO' to Hizb-ut-Tahrir meeting
Last Friday, Westminster University were due to play host to Jamal Harwood, a member of Hizb ut-Tahrir Britain's Executive Committee speaking alongside Dr. Jean Francois Mayer a Swiss academic and founder of the Religioscope Institute. Further to pressure from the National Union of Students, alongside various meetings held within the university, the event was banned from the campus.
A university spokesman has stated that "The University of Westminster supports the National Union of Students (NUS) and its policy of providing No Platform for Hizb ut-Tahrir and has therefore advised the University of Westminster Students Union (UWSU) that its planned meeting involving a representative of Hizb ut-Tahrir on Friday will not now be permitted on University premises. This move follows a request by the NUS for the UWSU to adopt its No Platform policy and withdraw the invitation from the UWSU’s Global Ideas Society to Hizb ut-Tahrir."
National Director for Student Rights Raheem Kassam has commented, "We welcome the move from Westminster University, as well as the pressure exerted from the National Union of Students. It is an incredibly positive step when we can face up to groups like Hizb-ut-Tahrir and send the message that British Universities will NOT be used as recruiting grounds for Islamic extremists."
Hizb-ut-Tahrir literature has in the past been found to state, "All ways and means which a Muslim uses to kill unbelievers is permitted as long as the enemy unbeliever is killed.... whether you blow up their planes or shoot them down; or whether you blow yourself up amongst their military encampments or blow yourselfand them up with a belt of explosives. All of these are permissible means of fighting unbelievers."
This cancellation comes after Umar Farouk Abdulmuttalab (the attempted Detroit bomber) was reported to have been radicalised by Anwar Al-Awlaki, the same man who had been exchanging e-mails with Major Nidal Malik Husain, the Fort Hood shooter from November 2009. Umar Farouk Abdulmuttalab was educated at the University College London and served as the President of the Islamic Society.
Student Rights now urges the National Union of Students, as well as the Universities UK working group and individual institutions to investigate speakers such as the controversial Azzam Tamimi and Abu Usamah to ensure speakers of this nature are not given the grounds to radicalise on campus.