What Is Going On In Mile End?

This is a guest post by George Readings

David T recently blogged about Queen Mary ISOC’s annual dinner. He was calling for one of their invited guests, Bilal Phillips, to be refused entry to the UK.

This is not the first time that QMUL has played host to extremists.

On 4th March this year and also 14th November 2008, Abu Usamah At-Thahabi spoke at the invitation of Queen Mary’s ISOC. On the more recent of these occasions his topic was “Where’s Wali?’

But he is more famous for what “Undercover Mosque” caught him saying on the topic of non-Muslims:

On 25th February, Abdur Raheem Green spoke on “Old Testament, New Testament and the final Testament – The Qur’an”; but in 2005 his views on violence in Islam were deemed too radical to permit entry to Australia:

Mr Green was also reported to have said: “The truth is that Islam teaches its followers to seek death on the battlefield, that dying while fighting jihad is one of the surest ways to paradise and Allah’s good pleasure.”

He said that had been taken from a letter he wrote to his father more than 10 years ago.

Jihad was a loaded term which had been linked with terrorism. “It is not about fighting for money or revenge but much more complex.”

It could include physically defending one’s land, family and country, which Westerners also supported, he said. “That is totally different from terrorism.”

Mr Green could not recall saying that conflict between Islam and the West was “not only sanctioned but ordered in the Koran”, although he admitted he might have once said something like that.

He pointed out the conflict of ideas between Western materialism and Islam and in that sense Muslims were always going to feel “a little uncomfortable” with non-Muslims

Then there’s Khalid Yasin, who thinks that AIDS is part of an international conspiracy to reduce the global population “to protect western civilisation.”

Not to forget the Hamas fan:

Oh, and Yahya Ibrahim, the translator of extreme Salafist material who David T has written about before. For him, AIDS is God’s wrath being wrought upon gays, and Christians and Jews are “the enemies”.

There have also been more than the odd talk by Uthman Lateef, a speaker from the Hittin Institute, which calls for shari’a for the UK and the end for Israel.

These speakers are not exceptions at Queen Mary’s, they represent about a quarter of the events listed online.

Research has shown that those active in student Islamic societies are significantly more likely to hold extreme views than other Muslim students. Which, when you note that over a quarter of students at Queen Mary’s are Muslim, means that an awful lot of moderate Muslims studying there are being badly misrepresented by their student society.

So, when are FOSIS and the NUS going to politely suggest to Queen Mary’s ISOC that, rather than inviting an array of bigots, terrorist sympathisers and general nutters, they focus on speakers who promote community cohesion, condemn terrorism in all forms and don’t propagate ridiculous conspiracy theories?

Or, are they just going to continue condemning anybody who points out that there might be a problem?