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Posted on Nov 28, 2013

Cambridge University

Cambridge University



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]



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and “inherently ugly”.[4] Winter claimed that the videos were over 15 years old and the statements he made then no longer represent his views on the matter.[5] However, this claim has been challenged, as videos from a similar retreat in Turkey from 2011 have appeared on YouTube.[6] In a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]


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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]






[5] Ibid.





[10] Ibid.

[11] Ibid.

[12] Ibid.

[13] Ibid.

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