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Posted on Nov 28, 2013

Cambridge University

Cambridge University

 

Incidents

In 2010, Cambridge’s Islamic Society invited Azzam Tamimi to speak.[1] Tamimi is a supporter of Hamas, who in 2004 told the BBC that he would become a suicide bomber if he “had the opportunity”, describing self-sacrifice for Palestine as “a noble cause”.[2]

Marine Le Pen, leader of the far-right French part, Front National, addressed the Cambridge Union in February 2013.[3]

 

Academics

Timothy Winter, Director of Studies (Theology and Religious Studies) at Wolfson College, and Shaykh Zayed Lecturer in Islamic Studies at Cambridge, attracted controversy in May 2013 due to a video of him describing homosexuality as “an inexplicable aberration” and “inherently ugly”.[4] Winter claimed that the videos were over 15 years old and the statements he made then no longer represent his views on the matter.[5] However, this claim has been challenged, as videos from a similar retreat in Turkey from 2011 have appeared on YouTube.[6] In a piece on Winter’s website, he describes homosexuality as a “metaphysical as well as a moral crime.”[7]

 

External Links

Cambridge has partnered with the Iran Heritage Foundation (IHF), which has provided funding for a fellowship at the university.[8] One of the Trustees of the IHF is Vahid Alaghband, who is also the Foundation’s chairman and a co-founder.[9] He is also founder and Chairman of Balli Group, and Ango-Iranian trading conglomerate responsible for “maintaining tight commercial and diplomatic ties between Iran and the West.”[10] In 2008, the Balli Group was issued with a Temporary Denial Order by the US Department of Commerce after it “knowingly re-exported three US-origin aircraft to Iran in violation of the Export Administration Regulations.”[11] Mr. Alaghband is also a major donor and “ambassador” of the PARSA Community Foundation, a grant-awarding entity whose principal beneficiaries include the National Iranian American Council (NIAC).[12] The NIAC is frequently referred to in Iran’s state-run media as the “Iranian lobby” in the US, has many close connections with the clerical regime, and is a leading opponent of the economic sanctions currently imposed on Iran.[13]

 



[1]http://www.studentrights.org.uk/article/898/tamimi_causing_uproar_at_cambridge

[2]http://www.studentrights.org.uk/article/1877/huffington_post_palestinian_academic_azzam_tamimi_supporter_of_israel_suicide_bombings_provokes_student_outrage

[3] http://www.theguardian.com/world/2013/feb/19/protesters-marine-le-pen-cambridge

[4] http://standforpeace.org.uk/cambridge-lecturer-deems-homosexuality-an-inexplicable-aberration/

[5] Ibid.

[6] http://www.standard.co.uk/news/uk/cambridge-lecturer-tim-winter-sorry-for-homosexual-slurs-8600884.html

[7]http://web.archive.org/web/20130524151921/http://www.masud.co.uk/ISLAM/ahm/family2.htm

[8] http://iranheritage.org/newsflash/IPP/newsflash.html

[9] http://standforpeace.org.uk/iranian-soft-power-vahid-alaghband-and-the-iran-heritage-foundation/

[10] Ibid.

[11] Ibid.

[12] Ibid.

[13] Ibid.

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