A Hizb front at Queen Mary

This is a guest post by Mr Greene

In the week that an inquiry chaired by Malcolm Grant, Provost of UCL, alma mater of the undy-bomber, whitewashed the issue of radicalisation of university students, events in East London once again remind us of how universities are still failing to do their part to challenge Islamist extremism.

On Thursday evening, Queen Mary’s (a college of the university of London) played host to a debate on the topic ‘Does Islam Oppress Women‘. This event was organised by the college’s ‘Ideological Society‘, which was highlighted in the Centre for Social Cohesion’s (CSC) report ‘Hizb ut-Tahrir: Ideology and Strategy’ (pdf) as likely being a front for Hizb ut-Tahrir, the group that David Cameron promised, but failed, to ban. As it is officially recognised by the Queen Mary’s Union, the Ideological Society’s leaders will have access to union funds.

Hizb ut-Tahrir organise events on campuses through front groups because the group is subject to the National Union of Students ‘no platform’ policy. Moreover, previous events, even one at Queen Mary’s in December 2009, have had the involvement of Hizb ut-Tahrir speakers blocked by university authorities because of the group’s pro-suicide bombing and anti-women/homosexuals/religious minorities views.

Here is a photo from the Thursday evening’s event which was posted to the Ideological Society’s Facebook page:

The question of whether the Ideological Society is a front for Hizb ut-Tahrir may now be settled; the lady seated to the right of the debate’s chairman is Dr Nazreen Nawaz, the ‘Women’s Media Representative’ of Hizb ut-Tahrir Britain. In November last year, Ofcom ruled, on the back of the Quilliam report ‘Reprogramming British Muslims – A Study of the Islam Channel’ (pdf), that the Islam Channel host Nawaz condoned marital rape when she said:

“And really the idea that a woman cannot refuse her husband’s relations this is not strange to a Muslim because it is part of maintaining that strong marriage. But it shouldn’t be such a big problem where the man feels he has to force himself upon the woman.”

As with any religion, the question of whether Islam qua religion oppresses women is a complex one. On the other hand, women definitely would be oppressed if Hizb ut-Tahrir got their way.

Now, despite the NUS ban and Queen Mary’s previous barring of a Hizb ut-Tahrir speaker, a senior figure from the group has been welcomed onto campus and a front for it has been established with access to union funds. Yet another dismal failure in the battle against the radicalisation of British university students.

habibi adds: in March the Islamic society of Queen Mary will host Murtaza Khan. He is one of the worst hate preachers in Britain. Readers of this blog will be familiar with him. Though they may not have seen this incendiary lecture titled “Death and the Grave”, where he incites British Muslims to violence.

Khan praises “martyrdom” in fighting as exalted in Islam:

The ultimate form [of martyrdom] for a man is to die in the way of Allah. That’s why it is always referred to as qital. Fighting, not jihad, as some people try to understand it, because jihad translates as struggle, but the real meaning is qital, to fight.

He rejects the label of “terrorism” and urges Muslims to embrace death in fighting while calling Muslims who reject fighting “cowardly”:

You read the tafsir (exegesis) of this verse, the souls of the mujahideen are placed inside green birds, and the birds walk around, or fly around the whole of paradise, and then they return underneath the throne of Allah and enter into that cave. Only for the shuhada (martyrs), this is given to these people.

The prophet stated himself: “There is only one thing I would like to return back to this dunya (earthly life), is that I am killed, then I return again. Then I am made shaheed (martyr) again, then I return again. Made shaheed (martyr) again, then return again.” Three times he mentioned this. That’s the only reason he wanted to come back to this dunya, and the only reason the shaheed will come back to this dunya, is to face that great feeling of dying as a shaheed. Which most of us have become cowardly. Cowardly to discuss this, cowardly to even engage in such matters.

Because on top of that, the Muslim ummah is always calling it irhab, calling it terrorism. Calling it futile, futile warfare. You don’t have the numbers. You don’t have the weaponry. You don’t have anything.

We have become like the froth, the scum of the ocean. Only a few grateful servants who can stand up and defend the deen (religion) of Allah. That is the greatest way to save yourself from the punishment of the grave.

He explicitly supports jihadis in Iraq, Israel-Palestine, Kashmir and Chechnya, denies that terrorists in those countries commit atrocities, and suggests that even more violence is needed:

At the end of the day we have to understand that jihad is in various forms. And some of them have written at the moment that the current state of warfare is a state of defence, defence of just the Muslim lands. Because at the moment these people are attacking the noble lands and taking the property which belongs to the Muslims and somebody should stand there and defend that.

This forever stagnation of people, of their fiqh (jurisprudence), and their understanding to think that we have to, for example, if somebody entered this building at the moment, I’m sure, if the building was bombarded by Christians at the moment, those who would run would be classified as the munafiqeen (hypocrites). Those who stood there and defended the masjid (mosque) would begin to defend the masjid. No one would turn around and say let us travel to the ulema (scholars) and ask them what we should do now. You’re being attacked now. Your intellect will tell you, simple, your family is being attacked, your people’s community is being attacked, you have to revolt against them or defend them. That is all that we are saying.

We’re not saying go after these people and harm these individuals. That which belongs to the Muslims belongs to the Muslims. The land of Iraq, the land of Kashmir, the land of Palestine, the land of Chechnya, all these lands belong to the Muslims. There’s no debate about this, even according to their sanctions. According to the United Nations, the land belongs to those people. And that’s all these people are trying to do – claim back their land. They’re not committing any atrocities. The land belongs to them. And finally the land, the whole of the land of earth, belongs to Allah. The whole of the land only belongs to Allah. Only belongs to Allah. He gives it to whomever he wants from amongst his slaves. So that’s all that these people are trying to do, is say leave our noble lands, stay away from our country, and don’t oppress any of our people.

This is what David Cameron said at the Munich security conference earlier this month:

Some organisations that seek to present themselves as a gateway to the Muslim community are showered with public money despite doing little to combat extremism. As others have observed, this is like turning to a right-wing fascist party to fight a violent white supremacist movement. So we should properly judge these organisations: do they believe in universal human rights – including for women and people of other faiths? Do they believe in equality of all before the law? Do they believe in democracy and the right of people to elect their own government? Do they encourage integration or separation? These are the sorts of questions we need to ask. Fail these tests and the presumption should be not to engage with organisations – so, no public money, no sharing of platforms with ministers at home.

At the same time, we must stop these groups from reaching people in publicly-funded institutions like universities or even, in the British case, prisons. Now, some say, this is not compatible with free speech and intellectual inquiry. Well, I say, would you take the same view if these were right-wing extremists recruiting on our campuses? Would you advocate inaction if Christian fundamentalists who believed that Muslims are the enemy were leading prayer groups in our prisons? And to those who say these non-violent extremists are actually helping to keep young, vulnerable men away from violence, I say nonsense.

Well, Mr Cameron?