The School of Oriental and African Studies (Soas) has hosted more extreme speakers and events in the past academic year than any other university in the country, a new report has found. The prestigious London university, which is well-known for its liberal outlook, held 14 events that featured speakers with extreme Islamic views, according to an analysis by the Henry Jackson Society (HJS).
A total of 112 ‘extremist’ events which targeted students took place across the country over a period of eight months, the report found.
However, it notes that the true number is likely to be much higher, since the researchers were only able to analyse events which were publicly advertised on social media sites or elsewhere online.Of the eight institutions that held the most ‘extremist’ events, five were in London and two were members of the elite Russell Group. Kingston University and University College London held six, while Brunel, Queen Mary, Bath, Kent and Southampton universities each held four, the report said.
All universities are required to comply with Prevent, the government’s counter-extremism strategy, which states that any speakers with extreme views must not go unchallenged. But the report found that universities are widely flouting the guidelines, by allowing students to be addressed by speakers who have in the past advocated wife-beating and labelled homosexuality “evil”.