Monday, November 20, 2006

"Why Islamic hate on campus needs to be tackled"

Hat Tip: VitalPerspective

A commentary on this previous post - this part says it all:

Student unions and vice-chancellors have made various attempts to tackle the problem but have always held back from really dealing with it because they fear being accused of Islamophobia. The radical groups have continued to organise and indoctrinate, often under false names, and have found the process increasingly easy in the climate of anger surrounding the Iraq war.

Jewish students at the School of Oriental and African Studies in London have complained of fears for their personal safety because of the pronouncements of some fellow students. Members of student Islamic societies have been among those arrested and charged in recent counter-terrorist operations.

Campus radicalism persists and is spreading. Mere “guidance” from mandarins in the DfES is unlikely to stop it spreading.


I'm shocked, I tell you - shocked!

Link to article

Times Online November 17, 2006

Omar Khan Sharif, left, who was radicalised on campus and became the first British suicide bomber recruit in the Israel-Palestine conflict, along with Asif Hanif, right

Comment: why Islamic hate on campus needs to be tackled
By Sean O’Neill
A Times expert on radical Islam explains why the threat from Islamist radicals on campus needs to be combated with more than just proposals

Islamist groups first identified Britain’s universities as a fertile recruiting ground more almost two decades ago.

They followed the example set by the far-left, which had been hugely successful in the 1980s in attracting young people with impressionable minds to simplistic utopian ideologies.

The Hizb-ut-Tahrir (HuT) organisation - which at the time was under the control of the radical cleric Omar Bakri Mohammed - was active on a number of campuses.

Over a period of weeks in 1988, I often accompanied one of Bakri Mohammed’s organisers as he criss-crossed London arranging and talking at meetings in university rooms and mosques.

Despite being a full-time employee of Islington council, the man’s entire working day appeared to be devoted to preaching the message of Islamist radicalism which was then a novelty but is now well-rooted in many young Muslims.

One of the meetings was at King’s College in Central London where he delivered a talk to Muslim students about the necessity of returning to the golden age of the Khilafa, an Islamic state to be governed by strict religious law.

It was a sparsely attended event. But more than 10 years later, at similar meetings at the same college, a young man called Omar Sharif was radicalised by what he heard.

Sharif, an undergraduate from Derby, very quickly became devout, began to wear traditional Islamic dress and abruptly ended friendships he had previously enjoyed with non-Muslims. Soon afterwards, he left King’s and went to Damascus to study Arabic.

Returning to Britain, Sharif retained his radical views and was in touch with Omar Bakri Mohammed (by then split with HuT and running his al-Muhajiroun movement) and with Abu Hamza, the former imam of Finsbury Park Mosque.

In April 2003, Sharif and another young Briton, Asif Hanif, went to Tel Aviv where they became the first foreign suicide bombers in the Israel-Palestine conflict.

Sharif was not the only young man to be radicalised at university who opted for a life of violent jihad. Omar Saeed Sheikh, who has been convicted in Pakistan for his part in the kidnap and murder of the American journalist Daniel Pearl, was first exposed to the Islamist ideology at the London School of Economics.

Student unions and vice-chancellors have made various attempts to tackle the problem but have always held back from really dealing with it because they fear being accused of Islamophobia. The radical groups have continued to organise and indoctrinate, often under false names, and have found the process increasingly easy in the climate of anger surrounding the Iraq war.

Jewish students at the School of Oriental and African Studies in London have complained of fears for their personal safety because of the pronouncements of some fellow students. Members of student Islamic societies have been among those arrested and charged in recent counter-terrorist operations.

Campus radicalism persists and is spreading. Mere “guidance” from mandarins in the DfES is unlikely to stop it spreading.

The author is a Times reporter and co-author of The Suicide Factory: Abu Hamza and the Finsbury Park Mosque

1 comment:

Simon said...

It is important to correct an inaccuracy in Sean O'Neill's original report. He calls Omar Sharif "an undergraduate from Derby". Although he was born in Derby, he had nothing to do with the University of Derby and never studied there. In fact, O'Neill correctly identifies King's College London as the place he studied at in 1994.