UK Universities Host More Than 100 Radical Islamist Speakers Annually
More than 100 radical Islamists are allowed to speak at universities in the United Kingdom every year, according to a Student Rights group study set for release this week, as reported by the Daily Mail.
The study also reveals that more than 20 students who had at one point enrolled in U.K. universities have been convicted of terrorism charges or died fighting with extremists in Syria.
The Student Rights group, run by a prestigious Westminster institute – the Henry Jackson Society – outlines how numerous student organizations refuse to partake in the U.K. government’s anti-extremism strategy called “Prevent.”
The research was conducted through an extensive survey of social media and university websites, in addition to other means dedicated to tracking speaker events.
Last year, radical Islamists gave 123 lectures, featuring provocative topics including “the West is waging a war against Islam.” That false message is considered among the most effective notions fueling radicalization among Muslims.
U.K. universities featured 145 and 132 radical talks in 2013 and 2012, respectively.
Some speakers supported people convicted of terrorism charges, and people who promote radical Islamist agendas and oppose the views of non-Islamists. Anti-democracy, homophobic, and pro-sharia law views were also prominent among some of the lectures.
Hamza Tzortzis, from the Islamic Education and Research Academy, was among the most frequent radical university speakers. In the past, Tzortzis expressed that infidels who fight the Muslim “community…should be killed.”
While prominent student groups continue to oppose the U.K. government’s approach to countering extremism, Prime Minister David Cameron ordered a multi-faceted response to “take on the radical narrative that is poisoning young minds.”
“The new Prevent duty is about protecting people from the poisonous and pernicious influence of extremist ideas that are used to legitimise terrorism. Protecting those who are vulnerable and at risk of radicalisation is a job for all of us. The new duty will make sure key bodies across the country play their part,” said security minister John Hayes in reference to U.K. institutions, such as prominent schools and universities.
Steven Emerson is the Executive Director the Investigative Project on Terrorism (www.investigativeproject.org) where this article first appeared.