Uthman Lateef to speak at University of Birmingham

With the Spring Term barely underway after Christmas at many universities around the country, Student Rights has already logged a number of events featuring extreme or intolerant speakers.

As well as tonight’s event at SOAS, this week has seen Wasim Kempson, who has publicly expressed support for a convicted terrorist, invited to speak at the university.

Meanwhile, a talk due to feature Abu Bakr Islam of Roadside2Islam on the same day was cancelled at Kingston University and rescheduled for 26 January.

Roadside2Islam has written that apostates should be executed, that Muslim women should not marry non-Muslims, and made women sit in a separate room at an event at London South Bank University (LSBU) in June 2012.

This trend will continue next week, as Uthman Lateef has been invited to address students at the University of Birmingham on 19 January.

Due to speak on the ‘Qualities of the Believer’, Lateef has warned against “the way of the disbelievers, of the kuffar” and claimed teaching “democratic Islam” will bring humiliation to Muslims.

In March 2014 he reportedly told a student journalist at the University of Nottingham that “…we are not homophobic, we just hate homosexual acts” when challenged on past homophobia.

He has also been recorded claiming “we don’t accept homosexuality…we hate it because Allah hates it”.

Last year, the student journalists who challenged Lateef’s homophobia were themselves accused of creating a divisive atmosphere on campus – undermining claims universities are the best place to challenge extreme speakers.

As such, we hope the University of Birmingham is aware of Lateef’s past statements – and that students will be given the opportunity to oppose his views should Monday’s event go ahead.

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