Zahir Mahmood at UCL
PRESS RELEASE: UCL student society announces event with hate preacher within days of Provost Malcolm Grant claiming extremism is ‘made-up’
For immediate release, 20th October: Interfaith activists at StandforPeace and students at the University College of London have criticised Malcolm Grant after UCL Medical School Islamic Society announced its intention to host a hate preacher within days of Malcolm Grant telling reporters that extremism on his campus was ‘made-up’.
Zahir Mahmood has been invited to the Islamic Society’s annual charity dinner on the 28th October at UCL. Mahmood has a history of glorifying Hamas, a recognised terrorist group by the EU, and has called for Muslims to refrain from integrating into British society.
Mahmood has rebuked Muslims wishing to integrate into society and has angrily noted that “many of us [Muslims] give preference to our nationality over our Islamic identity .” Mahmood has similarly caused anger by calling Hamas “freedom fighters” during a talk attended by former MP George Galloway.
Hasan Afzal, Director of StandforPeace, said “It’s extraordinary that Malcolm Grant is oblivious to the extremism that germinates right under his nose. Grant has a duty of care to his students, and by failing to recognise the hate preachers on his campus it is clear that Malcolm Grant is failing to protect students from extremism.”
He added, “It’s darkly funny that Grant claims extremism in his university is some sort of ‘made-up’ concept. Let us not forget that the Islamic Society was home to the failed underwear bomber Umar Farouk Abdulmatallab, who was President of the society.”
Rosanna Rafel, the previous co-President on UCL Jewish society, noted, “Consistently the other co-President and I raised the problem of extremist speakers being invited onto campus without any sufficient checks by the University. The response from Malcolm Grant was to the effect that if these speakers don’t actually say anything problematic on campus itself, it’s fine. The only people who seemed to actually realise there was a problem were the Union’s Sabbatical Officers. Malcolm Grant really needs to get his head out the sand and actually go to a few events or even look up some of these speakers. Maybe he should have listened to his Jewish students who warned him of the very extremism he claims does not exist.”
Notes to Editors:
StandforPeace is a voluntary Jewish-Muslim interfaith group that monitors and highlights all extremism on campus. http://www.thejc.com/news/uk-news/56636/campus-extremism-made-ucl-head  http://uclisoc.com/2011/10/10/rums-isoc-charity-week-dinner-2011/  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5loPOY2DtDQ  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t4jW5ytB1Lo