The identification of former University of Westminster student Mohammed Emwazi as the Islamic State executioner ‘Jihadi John’ has led to increased scrutiny on the issue of campus extremism.
However, while it is encouraging to see some universities reconsidering plans to allow extremists unchallenged platforms, a number of events planned for this week appear to be going ahead.
Universities at Medway will see Abdullah Al-Andalusi and Dilly Hussain speak tonight, and both of these men have a history of divisive and anti-democratic views.
Hussain has stated there is “a full on ideological/cultural war is being waged on Islam and Muslims” and attacked one Muslim woman who disagreed with him as “pisshead, drunken liberal garbage” and “[a] stupid liberal cow”.
At the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) meanwhile, Uthman Lateef was booked to speak on the issue of women in Islam on Tuesday – just days after Hizb ut-Tahrir member Shohana Khan spoke there on a similar subject.
Lateef has warned against “the way of the disbelievers, of the kuffar” and claimed teaching “democratic Islam” will bring humiliation to Muslims.
That these events are so prevalent, and that they continue to go ahead without challenge in the wake of recent revelations about Mohammed Emwazi, show the extent of this issue.
As such, universities must address how they plan to deal with these concerns – and how they will ensure that extremists face scrutiny and challenge when they appear on our campuses.