University of London Bans iERA Extremists
According to an ‘Action Alert’ published by the Islamic Education and Research Academy (iERA) this morning, the University of London has “stopped Abdurraheem Green and Hamza Tzortzis from speaking at a private Muslim event” due to be held on University of London property.
In March 2013, the iERA was banned from University College London after it emerged that the extreme Islamist group enforced gender segregation at its events.
The iERA claims the Metropolitan Police warned university authorities about the views expressed by the two speakers. Certainly, such action would be warranted.
Abdurraheem Green is one of the iERA’s most prominent speakers. Stand for Peace considers him to be an anti-Semitic, anti-homosexual demagogue and an apologist for terrorism.
Green does not attempt to hide his hatred of Jews. In one video, Green has said, “Why don’t you take the Yahudi [Jew] over there, far away, so his stench doesn’t disturb us, okay?”
Green also claims that Turkish leader Ataturk was “an extremely, thoroughly unpleasant, nasty kafir. He was a Jew, he was a Jew. And not only was he a Jew, he belonged to a sect of the Jews that even the Jews think are far astray.”
He recommends death to be a “suitable” punishment for adultery and homosexuality:
“Such crimes thus need suitable and effective punishments that act as a sever warning to others. A public crime deserves a public punishment. Adultery is punishable by death, and a slow and painful death by stoning. All of this also goes some way to help understand way acts of homosexuality are similarly treated so harshly.”
According to Green, beating women, in order to “bring them to goodness”, is permissible:
“The husband is allowed, to prevent her from evil, to apply some type of physical force. This is a type of very light beating. In fact, as some scholars mentioned it is to hit with the miswack, but what we know from the prophet is this type of beating is not allowed to leave any type of mark. It is not allowed to break the skin, does not allow to break a bone or even leave a mark on the skin. A beating that is that severe is forbidden and this is a type of assault, and is haram, and a crime in Islam to treat your wife like that. But a type of physical reprimand in order to bring her to goodness is allowed.”
Green is particularly disparaging about non-Muslims, describing them as “evil” and their schools as “sewers”:
“If we leave (Muslims) in these (non-Muslim Australian) schools they will be destroyed … You know very well what takes place in these schools … it is all about evolution, Christmas, Easter, St Valentine’s Day – a barrage. And you expect your children to survive? You think you live in a sewer and you come up smelling of roses? … Merely living in the company of evil people will inevitably begin to rub off on us and we will begin to acquire their characteristics.”
He condemns criticism of the Taliban:
“Supporting the disbelievers against the Muslims is in fact kufr, it is disbelief. This is something that has been clearly stated by Allah (SWT) in the Quran, that to aid the unbelievers against the believers is an act of kufr, of disbelief.”
“Brothers and sisters you can support the kuffar against the Muslims even by a word…For example, slandering and attacking the Muslims unjustly, such as you find many Muslims have done this about the Taliban. Slandering them and attacking them and reviling them based upon news that has come from the disbelieving media, helping the kuffar against the Muslims.”
In 2005, Green gave a speech at UCL, uncovered by the Daily Telegraph, in which he said that a “permanent state of war exists between the people of Islam and the people who opposed Islam”. Referring to Bin Laden, he added, “His rational [sic] is … we are going to keep on killing your women and children until you stop killing our women and children. How do you argue with that?” Citing the IRA, he added: “The other thing is that it seems that terrorism works. We certainly have precedent.” Green initially objected to the Telegraph’s report but later withdrew his complaint.
It is true that Green has hinted a few times that these views are no longer his. In 2009, Green told the BBC, “I surely have said some pretty radical things and maybe even written some radical things in the past. But one thing I have been very consistent on is terrorism, participating in terrorist activities, violent revolution – is not something that I have ever thought was part of the religion of Islam.”
Since then, Green has failed to put his words into action.
Several months after speaking to the BBC, he invited two supporters of terrorism — and fellow iERA speakers — Bilal Philips and Hussein Ye, on a speaking tour. He has called on his website for the release of Ali al Timimi, whom he describes as “a treasure of this ummah, but a treasure purposely buried by the opposer’s [sic] of divine guidance.” Timimi has been convicted of terrorism offences in the United States and sentenced to life in prison. Green has also testified in defence of Yassin Nassari, another Islamist convicted of terrorism offences.
Tzortzis, a convert to Islam from a Greek “humanist-spiritualist” upbringing, styles himself as an “intellectual activist”. He has been lecturing on university campuses on such topics as “Islamic Law – Barbaric or Misunderstood?” and “The Miracle of the Qur’an” as well as debating some fairly prominent atheist writers on the existence of God and the morality of religious faith.
Tzortzis has stated:
“We as Muslims reject the idea of freedom of speech, and even the idea of freedom. We see under the Khilafa (caliphate), when people used to engage in a positive way, this idea of freedom was redundant, it was unnecessary, because the society understood under the education system of the Khilafa state, and under the political framework of Islam, that people must engage with each other in a positive and productive way to produce results, as the Qur’an says, to get to know one another. Whereas in this society, what they call debate and positive discourse is printing cartoons.”
Tzortzis wants to criminalise homosexuality, and equates it with paedophilia and cannibalism.
Tzortzis was previously 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.
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.
Tzortzis was previously involved with the extreme anti-Semitic group Hizb-ut-Tahrir – worldwide organisation which seeks to overthrow liberal democracy and replace it with an Islamist theocracy.
In April 2008 Tzortzis wrote to the Centre for Social Cohesion to invite a representative to participate in a panel discussion on community cohesion in East London. The email, signed from Tzortzis, was sent from email@example.com.
In 2006 Tzortzis was Deputy Chairman of the Hackney Muslim Organisation (HMO), a now inactive community group. HMO organised a fundraising dinner in August of that year for Interpal, which gave Tzortzis a platform along with Taji Mustafa, a member of HTB’s executive committee.
Tzortzis speaks regularly at events organised by HTB. For example, in a video posted on the party’s website of an HTB event in Central London in April 2008, Tzortzis is recorded saying:
“It’s a very real, very rational argument that the Qur’an can only be from the creator. And these are arguments that we need to develop, that we need to research, in order to discuss, ideologically, with the non-Muslims, to show to them that Islam does not have to be defended. And I am not here today to defend Islam in any shape or form. When they mention democracy and secularism, they say why these are enlightened values? They don’t justify their belief and nor should we in some cases, why should we justify what Allah (SWT) says when we must cut the hand of the thief with all these conditions, why would we justify the social system? [...] Our deen, our aqeedah is based on something that is real that is rational and that is proven. Whereas their aqeedah and their manifestations of their aqeedah is based on something weak, based on the compromise, and something that can be easily refuted.”