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Monday, July 15, 2024

Universities in the UK hosting controversial speaker, Hizb ut-Tahrir, despite ban

Controversial speakers linked to Hizb ut-Tahrir defy bans, raise concerns about extremist ideologies on UK campuses

Recent revelations have brought to light a concerning trend on university campuses in the UK, where activists associated with the extremist group Hizb ut-Tahrir are covertly returning to speak, despite being banned from universities.

Covert Returns to Campus

Despite being banned by the National Union of Students (NUS) in 2004 for supporting terrorism and promoting racial hatred, members of Hizb ut-Tahrir have managed to bypass university bans and speak at various events in the last 18 months. These events were organized by union-affiliated Islamic societies in universities including Bradford, Birmingham, and the London School of Economics (LSE). Keynote speakers from Hizb ut-Tahrir have participated in at least ten separate events during this period.

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Prominent Speakers and Controversial Views

Luqman Muqeem, a prominent Hizb ut-Tahrir member, has been a recurring speaker at multiple universities since November 2021, giving talks that often promote extremist views. He has even advocated violence against Jews and expressed support for attacks on individuals critical of his ideology. Similarly, Rupon Shahid, known as Rupon Shahidul Haque, has also been featured as a speaker in these events. Shahid, a business analyst, has voiced radical opinions online, including a desire for the “liberation of Palestine via jihad.”

Hizb ut-Tahrir’s Long History

Hizb ut-Tahrir, founded in 1953 in Jerusalem, has a history of promoting antisemitism and advocating for the establishment of a global Muslim caliphate governed by sharia law. Despite being implicated in attempted coups in various countries and facing criticism for its extremist views, the group’s British branch has managed to resurface on UK campuses.

Concerns and Responses

The Community Security Trust (CST) has raised concerns about Hizb ut-Tahrir’s covert attempts to gain influence on campuses and spread anti-Jewish hatred. The Union of Jewish Students echoes these concerns, emphasizing that extremist groups like Hizb ut-Tahrir should not be given a platform to incite hatred against any group. Security and intelligence experts also call for vigilance and action against such activities on university grounds.

Defying Bans and Escaping Scrutiny

Despite the NUS ban, Hizb ut-Tahrir activists continue to express their views on campuses, often through misrepresentation and evasion. The failure of event organizers to disclose the speakers’ affiliations has allowed this extremist group to skirt regulations, prompting calls for stricter oversight.

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The resurgence of Hizb ut-Tahrir on UK campuses raises concerns about the infiltration of extremist ideologies into educational institutions. The covert return of this group’s members to speak at events, despite bans, has shed light on the challenges universities face in safeguarding their campuses against radical influences. As institutions of learning, universities should prioritize fostering an environment of intellectual discourse while remaining vigilant against the misuse of their platforms for promoting hatred and violence.