FOSIS webinar hosts Uthman Lateef

On 26th October the Federation of Student Islamic Societies (FOSIS), an organisation which claims to represent mainstream Muslim students, hosted an online webinar featuring Dr Uthman Lateef.

The webinar was promoted through the FOSIS London Twitter and Facebook accounts to students throughout the UK.

It was further advertised on campuses through Facebook by student groups at Queen Mary University, the University of Hertfordshire, the University of East London , Kingston University, and London Metropolitan University.

Earlier this year, Lateef reportedly told a student journalist: “…we are not homophobic, we just hate homosexual acts”.

In a previous incident he had been recorded claiming “we don’t accept homosexuality…we hate it because Allah hates it”.

Lateef has also attacked “democratic Islam”, stating that “if we are teaching the way of life of the disbelievers, of the kuffar, Allah will bring humiliation on us”.

FOSIS has regularly dismissed claims of extremism on UK campuses in the past, stating: “there is no evidence to suggest that universities are any more likely to be affected by extremism than other parts of society”.

However, this webinar is yet another example of the group’s failure to acknowledge and challenge the promotion of extremist speakers at its own events.

It follows several lectures and webinars held by the group throughout 2014 which included extreme or intolerant speakers such as Haitham Al-Haddad and Zahir Mahmood.

In 2013 meanwhile, FOSIS invited Shady Al-Suleiman and Muhammad Al-Arifi to speak at its Annual Conference despite serious concerns about the extreme nature of their views.

Al-Arifi has since been banned from entering the UK, likely due to his inflammatory anti-Shia rhetoric and calls for jihad in Syria.

As such, until FOSIS stops promoting events with extreme or intolerant speakers, its claims extremism does not exist on UK campuses, and that it represents the mainstream, will remain empty ones.

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