iERA segregates students (again)
The University of Leicester is investigating an event at which students were segregated by gender. The event, held by the Islamic Research and Education Academy (iERA), was addressed by Islamist extremist Hamza Tzortzis.
Photographs have been published on the internet showing signs attached to a door which read “brothers” and “sisters” — with arrows pointing in opposite directions at the entrance.
Tzortzis, a Greek convert, was a trustee of Green Crescent, a British charity placed under investigation by the Charity Commission for links with Islamist terrorism. He resigned his trusteeship after Green Crescent’s head, Faisal Mostafa, was arrested and charged with terrorism offences in Bangladesh following the discovery of arms caches at a school run by the charity.
Dr Mostafa has twice stood trial – and been cleared – on terrorism charges in Britain. In 2008, however, he was given a two-year suspended sentence after attempting to board an aeroplane at Manchester airport with a pistol in his suitcase.
Mr Tzortzis, although never personally accused of terrorist offences, has called for an Islamic state, expressed his hostility towards Western values and stated that: “We as Muslims reject the idea of freedom of speech, and even of freedom.”
He is a former researcher for the hardline Hittin Institute and chaired the launch event of iERA, an umbrella organisation hosting many well-known British Muslim extremists who preach opposition to democracy and hatred against homosexuals and Jews.
The iERA is an Islamist organisation which tours hate preachers around Britain. It is an extreme Salafist group, which largely focuses on da’wah (proselytizing or preaching). Recently, its speakers have been banned from venues such as the University Conference London, Arsenal football stadium and the Sheraton Centre Hotel.
Three iERA speakers have been banned from entering Britain: Bilal Philips, described by the US an “unindicted co-conspirator” in the 1993 al-Qaeda attack on the World Trade Center; Zakir Naik, banned from the UK for saying that “every Muslim should be a terrorist;” and Hussein Yee, who openly preaches hatred against Jews, and claims that Jews in America were ‘happy’ when the Twin Towers fell.
Its speakers and advisors have a history of voicing support for terror groups and preaching hatred against minorities. Read our extremism briefing to find out more about the iERA.