Wednesday, February 27, 2013

City University in London denies space to Muslim prayer group

Of course, the university authorities and others opposed to the Muslim group mentioned in the items below have no cause for concern, since Islam is a religion of peace--or so we're constantly being told.

As reported by Jennifer Lipman of The Jewish Chronicle, February 22, 2013:

A leading London university has stopped allocating space for a Muslim prayer group after students refused to allow staff to oversee the content of sermons.

The decision by City University to stop offering space on its premises for the Friday prayers has been attacked by students as unjust, but the university said that it was made "despite repeated requests and assurances" for students to "work with the university's Imam to ensure that the process for selecting students is transparent and that the content of sermons is made known to the university in advance and is freely available afterwards for those unable to attend".

"The University needs to be assured of the quality and appropriateness of what is being delivered," said a City spokesman, adding that the university had identified nearby locations off campus at which students could attend Friday prayers.

"The information from those students leading Friday prayers was not forthcoming.

"Whilst this was a disappointment, the university could not continue to condone an activity taking place on its premises where it cannot exercise reasonable supervision."

According to the group Muslim Voices on Campus, which is campaigning against the decision, City restricted the allocation of space at the end of last year. "They requested that khateebs (those delivering the sermon) submit the sermons beforehand to be screened to ensure it 'complies with university policy'," said the group.

"When you start submitting your sermons to be monitored and scrutinised then there's a chance for it to be dictated what's allowed and what's not allowed," the group's leader told the BBC.

The university's action comes three years after a report that revealed that City's Islamic society was promoting a "hard-line Islamist ideology" that led to "the intimidation and harassment of staff, students and members of minority".

The research, by extremism monitor Quilliam, warned that the actions of the ISoc – including comments by its president calling for kaffirs (unbelievers) to be killed and for adulterers to be stoned – had "scared" Jewish students and moderate Muslims.
Ms. Lipman's article about the Quilliam report was published in The Jewish Chronicle on October 18, 2010:

A London university’s Islamic society promoted a “hard-line Islamist ideology” which led to “the intimidation and harassment of staff, students and members of minority”, researchers have revealed.

A report by the counter-extremism think tank Quilliam shows that the behaviour of City University’s Islamic society (ISoc) “during the last academic year “scared” Jewish students and moderate Muslims and “led to increased religious tensions on campus.”

The authors of the report cautioned that “such extremism may increase the risks of students turning to terrorism.”

They found that Saleh Patel, the ISoc president, had called for kafirs (unbelievers) to be killed and for adulterers to be stoned.

Mr Patel told ISoc members that: “Islam believes in defensive and offensive jihad.”
In recordings of Friday prayers held at the university Mr Patel can be heard saying that the Islamic state “teaches to cut the hand of the thief’” and “to kill the apostate.

“This is what Allah and his messenger…have taught us.

“The difference of opinion lies with regards to how he should be killed not as to what he is – a kafir or a Muslim.

“When they say to us that Islam was spread by the sword, and there is no such thing as jihad, we say to them ‘no’.”

At other times members called for women to be forced into wearing the veils and for shari’ah law to be implemented in Britain.

The ISoc also held daily large-scale protests to oppose the university’s provision of a multifaith prayer room and invited Anwar al-Awlaki, a radical pro-al-Qaeda preacher, to a university event.

According to the report, “ISoc members sought to create a globalised ‘grievance-based’ Muslim identity that was hostile to non-Muslims and paranoid and suspicious of outsiders.”

After complaints from fellow students, including members of the LGBT society and the editor of the student newspaper, the university authorities closed the ISoc website and removed some of its privileges.

Lucy James, the report’s author, called the revelation that such ideas were being openly promoted on a university campus “deeply shocking”.

She said that while City University had done its best to contain the problem, “government, civil society groups, students and moderate Muslim organisations need to help challenge these ideologies before they lead to violence on campus or even an act of terrorism.

“Labour failed to effectively take action against campus radicalisation; hopefully the new government will not also ignore this problem.”

The Quilliam report follows the publication of an investigation into University College London’s approach to tackling campus extremism.

Critics called the investigation, launched after the arrest of former student Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, "complacent" and a "whitewash".

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