New generation of extremists preaching at British universities
Experts warn Islamist leaders on campus could cause students and graduates to 'embrace terror'
A NEW GENERATION of radical Islamist leaders inspired by Abu Qatada preached to students on more than 200 occasions at leading British universities last year, according to research by anti-extremist group Student Rights.
The study shows 60 institutions heard from speakers with "a history of extreme or intolerant views" while 12 university Islamic societies across the UK in the year to March 2013 held segregated events.
Some speakers at universities – including Cambridge, UCL and Birmingham - have a history of extremism, misogyny, homophobia and advocating jihad. Others are on the record as saying they "reject freedom", The Times reports.
The figures come shortly after two universities, UCL and Leicester, launched separate investigations into segregation by gender at public lectures held by their Islamic societies.
Lecturer Hamza Tzortzis (pictured above), a former member of radical group Hizb ut-Tahrir, appeared at both events. Tzortzis is a "compelling and good-looking" radical, who reportedly featured on a YouTube channel followed by Boston bombing suspect Tamerlan Tsarnaev, The Times notes. He has previously said Muslims "reject the idea of freedom of speech and even the idea of freedom".
Other speakers appearing at British universities include Dr Khalid Fikry, an Egyptian cleric who has previously defended convicted terrorists. During a recorded address to the University of Westminster’s Islamic society, he called for the introduction of polygamy and for authorities to begin cutting thieves’ hands off so they don’t "dare to steal".
Security expert Professor Anthony Glees said Student Rights’ research indicates there is a "failing in our higher education system... We can, and should, stop radicalisation on campus by extremists who believe in segregation, otherwise more students and graduates will eventually embrace terror." He added: "Terrorists are not born, they are made."
Usama Hasan, an Islamist turned anti-extremist campaigner, said radical groups had "taken over" Islamic societies at leading universities. "They have denied freedom of expression to other Muslim students who are frightened and intimidated by hardliners," he warned.