Academia,  Uncategorized

Standing up for gender equality at University College London

This is a guest post from Stand for Peace.

A debate at the University College in London between atheist academic Lawrence Krauss and Islamist extremist Hamza Andreas Tzortzis ended abruptly after the hosting organisation, the Islamic Education and Research Academy (iERA), enforced gender segregation amongst the audience. Krauss, stating that he had been promised no such segregation would take place, walked out.

The iERA is an extreme Islaimist organization, whose staff  includes Islamist hate preachers such as Abdurraheem Green, Hamza Tzortzis (the opposing speaker at the debate) and Yusuf Chambers.

Tzortzis has previously been associated with Hizb-ut-Tahrir, another extremist organisation that campaigns for a global Islamist caliphate and is viciously hateful of Jews. Tzortzis chaired the launch event of the iERA. He is on record condemning democratic principles and advocating for a Sharia state:

“We as Muslims reject the idea of freedom of speech, and even the idea of freedom. We see under the Khilafa (caliphate), when people used to engage in a positive way, this idea of freedom was redundant, it was unnecessary, because the society understood under the education system of the Khilafa state, and under the political framework of Islam, that people must engage with each other in a positive and productive way to produce results, as the Qur’an says, to get to know one another.”

Tzortzis wants to criminalise homosexuality, and equates it with paedophilia and cannibalism.

Yusuf Chambers is a founding member of the iERA. In a recorded conversation conducted with Dr. Zakir Naik (who has been banned from entering Britain), Chambers specifically asks what the punishment for homosexuality should be (the answer is “Death”), and then asks Naik to refute suggestions that homosexuality has any natural or genetic origins . In the same interview, Chambers agrees that adulterous women should be stoned to death.

Abdurraheem Green, another iERA official, recommends that death is a “suitable” punishment for adultery and homosexuality:

“Such crimes thus need suitable and effective punishments that act as a sever [sic] warning to others. A public crime deserves a public punishment. Adultery is punishable by death, and a slow and painful death by stoning. All of this also goes some way to help understand way acts of homosexuality are similarly treated so harshly.”

According to Green, beating women, in order to “bring them to goodness,” is permissible:

The husband is allowed, to prevent her from evil, to apply some type of physical force … It is not allowed to break the skin, does not allow to break a bone or even leave a mark on the skin. A beating that is that severe is forbidden and this is a type of assault, and is haram, and a crime in Islam to treat your wife like that. But a type of physical reprimand in order to bring her to goodness is allowed.

Green does not attempt to hide his distaste for Jews. In one video, Green has said, “Why don’t you take the Yahudi [Jew] over there, far away, so his stench doesn’t disturb us, okay?”

Green also claims that Turkish leader Ataturk was “an extremely, thoroughly unpleasant, nasty kafir [unbeliever of Islam]. He was a Jew, he was a Jew. And not only was he a Jew, he belonged to a sect of the Jews that even the Jews think are far astray.”

The iERA’s Abdullah Hakim Quick has been condemned by New Zealand’s broadcasting authority for his anti-gay tirades, which state that homosexuals must be killed, that they are “sick” and “not natural”, and that “Muslims are going to have to take a stand [against homosexuals] and it’s not enough to call names.” He continues to hold this position: “They said ‘what is the Islamic position [on homosexuality]?’ And I told them. Put my name in the paper. The punishment is death. And I’m not going to change this religion.”

This is just the tip of the iceberg: other iERA speakers include Bilal Philips, described by the US an “unindicted co-conspirator” in the 1993 al-Qaeda attack on the World Trade Center; Zakir Naik, banned from the UK for saying that “every Muslim should be a terrorist;” and Shady Sulieman, who has said that for those who commit adultery, “their punishment is stoning to death.”

It is hardly surprising that this extreme group enforced medieval segregation rules. Stand for Peace commends Dr Lawrence Krauss for having the integrity to show what he thought of such fundamentalist behaviour.