The Free University in Amsterdam has canceled a symposium where a controversial Sharia scholar was to speak.
A parliamentary majority of VVD, PVV, CDA, Christian Union and SGP had today called for the man to be banned from the Netherlands .
I hate to repeat myself, but really, isn’t it time for the Federation of Student Islamic Societies (FOSIS) to break their links with this hate preacher?
To recap: al Haddad was one of their guests of honour at their dinner and quiz night at the East London Mosque/London Muslim Centre in December.
FOSIS London invites you to a series of circles of knowledge exclusively for the leaders of London Islamic Societies to be delivered by Sheikh Haitham Al-Haddad. The first halaqa will inshaAllah be held on Thursday 2nd Feb 2012 at 5pm. There will be a sisters only Q&A session with Sheikh Haitham straight after the main halaqah.
This event is a first of a series. There are to be others.
So, how about it FOSIS? Let’s have a statement in which you:
(a) apologise for bringing this hate preacher into universities;
(b) promise not to host him again; and
(c) agree to do all you can to prevent him speaking at your many affiliated ISOCs, including disaffiliating those who insist on promoting hatred and bigotry on campus.
Surely that’s not too much to ask.
He says that he is a victim of the Zionist Lobby and that his statements are… “taken out of context”.
Very very old. Not working any more. Give up.
Here is what Martijn van Dam has to say.
Martijn van Dam is a Labour politician, a member of the party leadership caucus, and the party’s spokesman for foreign affairs. I hope he forgives this free-ish semi-Google translated version of his post. I’d be grateful for a better one:
Dear Directors of the Islamic Student Association Amsterdam,
As you probably noticed, fuss has resulted from your symposium with the main guest, Dr. Shaykh Haitham al-Haddad. It has been attributed to him that he denounces Jews as monkeys and pigs, labels Jews as “one of the armies of the Devil”, and has argued that Muslims have a duty to hate Christians and Jews
He is a member of the UK Islamic Sharia Council, which on its site justifies the position that testimony of women is only worth half the testimony of men with the argument that women have a worse memory than men. Al-Haddad, in short, is known as extremist.
Did you know that when you invited him? Is it true that he has made these and similar statements? What do you think of them?
It has surprised me greatly that you have invited a man known as an extremist. Why? What has inspired you to give him a platform?
Be on notice that the arrival of this man can count on little sympathy. To very many residents of our country, this feels like sticking up the middle finger at the values we hope all residents of our country share. Respect for other peoples, tolerance towards other beliefs and equality of women and men, values we’re all behind.
By inviting someone so visible in breach of these shared values, indicates that you do not respect them yourself. That would be disappointing for students at a major university in the country. But worse than that, it also impacts on all youth in the Netherlands who are Muslims or who themselves, or whose parents or grandparents come from countries where Islam is a major religion. [They are every day called upon the Islamic faith, or that they now hold or not]. The vast majority of Muslims in the Netherlands has very moderate views and wholeheartedly share the values of our society. Yet they are constantly pushed into defensive positions by the presence of extremists in the public debate. Again and again they must explain that they themselves have different opinions.
You contribute to this by al-Haddad and invite him to present as the main guest at your symposium. Thanks to you an invitation to many Dutch Muslims coming days can expect disapproving glances, awkward questions and prejudices.
It is better to admit that you made a mistake. I invite you to rescind your invitation. Because al-Haddad is a British citizen, he can travel freely to the Netherlands. His arrival probably can not be prevented by the government. Whether he is speaking, is therefore up to you. Avoid the giving the extreme views of this man a platform in the Netherlands. [Do that many Muslims in the Netherlands back in the defensive position and against neighbors and acquaintances to explain that that’s the kind extremist views do not share. Prevent re-create an image that a group of Muslims in the Netherlands which have little wish to withdraw from the widely shared values of Dutch society].
It would be good and wise if you heed the protest against his visit and withdrawn the invitation .
Of course I am happy to continue this conversation with you in action.
Martijn van Dam