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Examples of Recent Press Coverage
Moderate Muslims are appalled that Dr Haitham al-Haddad, who is a judge on a Sharia law court in London, was allowed a platform at the Mawson Road prayer centre.
He spoke to students from Cambridge University’s Islamic Society in a packed room, and has previously told Muslims “to prepare themselves for jihad, all over the world”.
Hasan Afzal, director of the anti-extremism monitoring group StandforPeace, who was alerted to the visit by a concerned Muslim attending the mosque, said: “I understand the mosque is looking to expand and this has been a bone of contention with the local community and has attracted the ire of far-right groups, including the English Defence League.
Islamist preacher Zahir Mahmood has been invited to the university’s Islamic Society’s annual charity dinner on October 28. Mahmood has a history of glorifying Hamas, and hascalled for Muslims to refrain from integrating into British society.
Interfaith activist and director of the group Stand for Peace, Hasan Afzal, said that Mahmood has rebuked Muslims wanting to integrate into society and has angrily stated that “many of us [Muslims] give preference to our nationality over our Islamic identity.”
When Hasan Afzal started at university, he quickly discovered that his brand of Islam was regarded as heresy by some fellow Muslims.
“I come from a Sufi background. Sufis don’t take the Qur’an literally, they take it metaphorically, understanding it is a document from medieval times. The Islamic Society take a hardline approach: ‘You’re no different to a Hindu or Sikh.’”
Afzal says he is against banning speakers with extremist views. “Students should be able to share a platform with speakers, turn the presentation into a debate. That would be a far more pro-active way of dealing with extremists. Islamic societies are well organised. People who are against hate preachers are not well funded; they get news that a preacher is coming and have little time to organise – they’re always on the back foot.”
So, the Federation of Student Islamic Societies London is inviting someone whose views would render him a sociopath in a decent-thinking person’s judgement. This is what young Muslims in Islamic Societies across the country are taught, they are taught to hate the very society that has brought them up. Just don’t be surprised when the next Abdulmutallab decides come off the conveyor belt and into the news headlines.
I challenge Nabil Ahmed, the president of FOSIS, and FOSIS London to explain why they are inviting such a nightmarish individual to their ‘religious gathering’? What good can this man do to the minds of young Muslims?
Hasan Afzal, director of the anti-extremism group Stand for Peace, contacted the council earlier this month to warn that the Ministry of Dawah was using the centre to “whitewash the terrorist convictions of a number of Islamists”.