Mohammed Gul, who attended Queen Mary, was jailed for five years in 2011 for posting Islamic terrorist propaganda online.
Asim Qureshi, of Cageprisoners spoke at Queen Mary in 2007. He told the audience that suicide bombings were “martyrdom operations” and that the al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigade and Hamas were “amazing”. He expressed his support for British Muslims going abroad to fight.
In November 2011, the Queen Mary Islamic Society hosted Haitham Al-Haddad. Al-Haddad has a concerning track record when speaking about women’s rights. He has said in the past, “a man should not be questioned why he hit his wife, because this is something between them”, and has opined that “the most honourable and worthy role for a woman is striving to be a fine wife…this role does not only secure the best for a woman in the hereafter, but also fits perfectly with her natural disposition”. He has said that the death penalty for apostasy makes “perfect sense” and described homosexuality as a “criminal act”.
Hamza Tzortzis spoke at Queen Mary in February 2012. Tzortzis is a radical who has said Muslims “reject the idea of freedom of speech and even the idea of freedom”. He has links to Hizb ut Tahrir, which advertises some of his talks on its website.
Azzim Tamimi spoke at an event organised by the Queen Mary Palestine Solidarity Society in March 2012. At the event he reiterated previous statements regarding his support for Hamas, and his willingness to be a martyr. Tamimi spoke of having the “great honour to be close to Hamas”, and said, “All the leaders of Hamas are my friends”. He also claimed that he would “be a martyr” for his country.
Abu Usamah, infamous for asking on a Channel 4 documentary, “If I were to call homosexuals perverted, dirty, filthy dogs who should be murdered, that’s my freedom of speech, isn’t it?” spoke at Queen Mary in 2011. He has also described women as “deficient” and reportedly said that Osama Bin Laden is “better than a million George Bushes and a thousand Tony Blairs”. The university defended the decision to allow him to address students, and issued a statement saying, “As a university we have a fundamental commitment to freedom of expression within the law. Our adherence to this commitment may be tested by the acceptance of speakers on campus whose views we might individually regard as extreme, distasteful, or fundamentally repugnant.”
In 2011 the Queen Mary Ideological Society, described by the Centre for Social Cohesion as a Hizb ut-Tahrir front, hosted a debate on the topic ‘Does Islam Oppress Women?’ The debate was chaired by Dr Nazreen Nawaz, the Women’s Media Representative of Hizb ut-Tahrir Britain. Ofcom ruled in 2010 that Nawaz had justified marital rape when she said on the Islam Channel, “And really the idea that a woman cannot refuse her husband’s relations this is not strange to a Muslim because it is part of maintaining that strong marriage. But it shouldn’t be such a big problem where the man feels he has to force himself upon the woman.”
A student council meeting in 2009 passed a motion proposed by the Queen Mary Stop the War Coalition to twin Queen Mary with the Islamic University of Gaza. The Islamic University of Gaza has close links to Hamas. Hamas members have taught at the university, and it has been used by Hamas to develop and store weapons.
In April 2013, Queen Mary University hosted a conference by the Muslim Public Affairs Committee (MPACUK). MPACUK is listed as a racist organisation by the NUS due to its anti-Semitic conspiracy theories. Earlier in 2013, the group’s Facebook profile featured a post reading “Take your holocaust, roll it up nice tight then shove it up your (be creative)!” and its founder, Asghar Bukhari, stated on his Facebook page in 2008 that “Muslims who fight against the occupation of their lands are ‘Mujahadeen’ and are blessed by Allah…any Muslim who fights against Israel and dies is a martyr and will be granted paradise“.
In January 2012, Queen Mary’s Islamic Society held ‘Justice Week’, which featured support for Al-Qaeda facilitator Aafia Siddiqui and Guantanamo inmate Shaker Aamer, who has been described as an “extremely active” recruiter for Al-Qaeda by Abu Zubaydah, a senior Al-Qaeda figure. Events at ‘Justice Week’ also played host to Asim Qureshi of Cageprisoners.
A talk organised by the Queen Mary Atheism, Secularism and Humanism Society on ‘Sharia Law and Human Rights’ had to be cancelled after threats of violence. According to the Society President, “Five minutes before the talk was due to start a man burst into the room holding a camera phone and for some seconds stood filming the faces of all those in the room. He shouted ‘listen up all of you, I am recording this, I have your faces on film now, and I know where some of you live’, at that moment he aggressively pushed the phone in someone’s face and then said ‘and if I hear that anything is said against the holy Prophet Mohammed, I will hunt you down.’ He then left the room and two members of the audience applauded. The same man then began filming the faces of Society members in the foyer and threatening to hunt them down if anything was said about Mohammed, he added that he knew where they lived and would murder them and their families. On leaving the building, he joined a large group of men, seemingly there to support him.” A police investigation was launched, and the university condemned the incident, promising to launch a review of the event to ensure that such an occurrence would not be repeated.