This is a cross-post by Effendi from The Spittoon
The president and provost of University College London, Malcolm Grant, has written in the Times Higher Education site in response to reports, following the arrest of Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, which have questioned the associations of the terrorist to Islamist radicalisation on the campus of UCL. The Underwear Bomber studied Mechanical Engineering with Business Finance at UCL between 2005 and 2008 and was president of the UCL ISOC in 2006-2007. Grant is is particularly perturbed by a piece by Con Coughlin in the Telegraph blogs.
Elements of the British press have taken a different line. Mr Abdulmutallab studied at UCL, therefore he must have been “radicalised” at UCL; after all, according to The Daily Telegraph, “[e]ven though Abdulmutallab is not even a British citizen, he was still allowed to be elected president of the Islamic Society at [UCL]”. And more: “It is easy to imagine that the authorities at UCL took quiet pride in the fact that they had a radical Nigerian Muslim running their Islamic Society. You can’t get more politically correct than that. They would therefore have had little interest in monitoring whether he was using a British university campus as a recruiting ground for al-Qaida terrorists such as himself.”
This is quite spectacular insinuation. And without so much as a shred of evidence in substantiation. The Telegraph blog that follows the publication of this piece displays quite disturbing Islamophobia, anti-immigration rants and even postings calling for the bombing of UCL itself.
Grant does a splendid job at recoiling at Coughlin’s most absurd suggestion (that a non-British student should not be permitted to be President of the UCL Islamic Society), knowing full well that that any sensible person will disagree with Coughlin on that point. Notice too the charge of Islamophobia to curtail any further debate. Grant insists on pushing the oft-repeated canard that there was no evidence that the suspect was radicalised at UCL. But so what? Who cares about the provenance of his radicalisation when there is plenty of evidence to show that Abdulmuttalab was very radicalised whilst he was the president of the UCL ISOC.
Who does Grant think he is fooling? Muslims who are concerned about the growth of Islamist hatemongering at UCL and many other Universities around the UK are not prepared to accept the pathetic slur of “Islamophobia” to shut us up in the way that it is designed to silence white liberal criticism. And if he thinks that a single outraged statement allows him to continue to remain blissfully ignorant of the Islamist activity that is going on under his nose at the UCL, he is gravely mistaken.
In 2007, Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab was the president of the Islamic Society of UCL when it organised and hosted a “War on Terror Week”. The launch video created for the event can be viewed here.
Much of the radicalisation that is underway in the universities involves inviting hate inciting Islamist speakers to address students on the premises of university facilities. FOSIS, the Federation Of Student Islamic Societies has a long history of associating with some very nasty Islamist characters which has been extensively documented here.
Unfortunately FOSIS is not the organisation we can look to to stem the onslaught of radicalisation at university ISOCs for three reasons:
- FOSIS has organised its own fair share of events with hate-mongering speakers. At their winter meeting earlier this month the speakers included Uthman Lateef and Hamza Tzortzis of Hittin and Zahir Mahmood. Mahmood is one of Galloway’s sidekicks. In this video, from 4:50 you will see him say that Hamas are freedom fighters, not terrorists.
- The organisation is known to have close links with the Muslim Brotherhood and is affiliated with the MCB.
- It is already emboldened by a history of engagement by this Labour government and is on the cusp of being recognised by the Tories.
It would be very easy to be taken in by this organisation’s liberal pretentions. The transparent double-speak in its press-release which was published by FOSIS last week after the Christmas Bomber story broke is a case in point. Here is a dissembling statement, denying that any Islamic Society in Britain had a hand in radicalising Abdulmutallab, while at the same time claiming that not enough is known about the terrorist’s background although it later transpired that he was a personal friend of at least one of FOSIS’ executive members.
We reaffirm our stance that there is no credible evidence to suggest that university campuses in the UK are arenas of radicalisation or that students are particularly at risk of the threat of radicalisation; however we remain committed in conjunction with various partners and organisations to ensure that universities remain safe places for both students and staff.
Faisal Hanjra, the president of FOSIS joined the organisation in 2004 in the second year of his MBBS degree at Queen Mary’s College. Now watch him on the Islam Channel discussing radicalisation of students at universities or rather, the non-existence thereof. Note his statement from 32 seconds into the video:
“Since 7/7, since 2005 up to today there has been not a single piece of evidence to suggest that universities or Islamic societies are breeding grounds in any way for radicalisation and extremism. And our stance, the Muslim community’s stance on this, has been vindicated to that extent, that there hasn’t been a single case to suggest that a Muslim student has gone onto a university campus and studied there for three years and come out a terrorist.”
Time to revise that statement now, surely?
Here is another video of Hanjra, again on Islam Channel, this time being interviewed by the fan of Holocaust deniers Ismael Patel.
“Every single young British Muslim out there, of whatever ideology of whatever background, is angry because of the silence and complicity of the west in the mass murder of the Palestinian people. It’s as simple as that.”
He then goes on to make the implicit threat of violence if foreign policy change is not forthcoming.
Qasim Rafiq is currently the Head of Media at FOSIS. He was at UCL between 2004 to 2008 and was a contemporary of the terrorist bomber Abdulmutallab. They knew each other well, as he admits in this BBC video interview. Rafiq now speaks of his “huge shock” and makes a ”categorical” denial that Abdulmutallab displayed any outward signs, anti-American anger or meetings with radicals, which subsequently led to his extremism.
FOSIS executives are now well into denial mode because they are part of the Islamist radicalisation problem in British universities.
It is time Malcolm Grant, provost of UCL, accept and admit to this. The buck must stop here.