This is a cross-post from Stand for Peace
The Federation of Student Islamic Societies (FOSIS) announced on 5 August that it has “teamed up with the organisers of Eden, an exciting retreat featuring an array of exciting activities and world renowned speakers.” Eden, which includes “seminars, sports activities, workshops, performing artists, night prayer and so much more,” is due to take place between 22 and 25 August at Aston University in Birmingham.
The organisers of Eden are the Islamic Network, “a da’wah organisation which aims to promote awareness and understanding of the religion of Islam.” It is a UK-registered charity.
As part of its mission to “promote awareness and understanding” of Islam, the Islamic Network offers an Islamic advice service on its website. In a series of religious rulings, the Islamic Network advocates the murder of apostates and adulterers; urges Muslims to hate non-Muslims; states that when ”kafirs” [derogatory term for non-Muslims] die, “the whole of humanity are relieved”; claims that music is a “satanic voice”; and describes Western civilisation as “evil.”
Moreover, the Islamic Network is brazenly anti-Semitic. One post on their website states:
“The Jews strive their utmost to corrupt the beliefs, morals and manners of the Muslims. The Jews scheme and crave after possessing the Muslim lands, as well as the lands of others. They have fulfilled some of their plans and continue striving hard to implement the rest of them. Even though they do engage the Muslims in warfare involving strength and arms and have occupied some of their lands, they also fight them by spreading destructive thoughts, beliefs and ideologies; such as Freemasonry, Qadiaanisim, Bahaaism, Teejaanism and others – seeking the support of the Christians and others, in order to fulfil their objectives.”
The chairman of the Islamic Network is Shahid Sardar, a senior NHS employee.
Speakers at the Eden event include such notorious hate preachers as Yusha Evans, Alaa Elsayed, Bilal Ismail, Abdur Raheem Green, Abu Abdissalam and Sulaiman Ghani.
Yusha Evans says he is “sicken[ed]” by “Muslims [who] have love and affection for … disbelievers,” and regards “moderate Muslims” as “one of the biggest threats to the success of this Ummah [Muslim community].”
Alaa Elsayed believes that the real problem with honour killings is not the murder itself, but the failure of parents to discipline their daughters.
Abdur Raheem Green is an anti-Semite who was caught on camera complaining about the “Yehudi [Jewish] … stench” and urging Muslims to “push them [Jews] to the side.” He has also referred to Turkish leader Mustafa Kemal Atatürk as “an extremely, thoroughly unpleasant, nasty … Jew”.
Abu Abdissalam advocates “the stoning to death of the adulterer, cutting the hand of the thief, [and the] obligation of hijab,” and has expressed support for terrorist recruiter Ali al-Tamimi.
Sulaiman Ghani is another Aafia Siddiqui supporter with links to Hizb ut-Tahrir, and uses the derogatory term “Qadiani” to describe Muslims of the Ahmadiyya sect.
The Federation of Student Islamic Societies (FOSIS), the umbrella organisation to which the vast majority of university Islamic societies are affiliated, was founded in 1963 by a number of activists from the Islamist Muslim Brotherhood and Jamaat-e-Islami movements.
According to the British government’s 2011 Prevent Strategy Review, “FOSIS has not always fully challenged terrorist and extremist ideology within the higher and further education sectors … There are several examples of students engaging in terrorism or related activities while members of university societies affiliated to FOSIS.” This assessment has been echoed by Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg and Home Secretary Theresa May, who have criticised FOSIS for its failure to “fully challenge terrorist and extremist ideology.”
FOSIS doesn’t just fail to “fully challenge” extremist ideology, it has actively promoted it. Perhaps most egregiously, in 2003, FOSIS invited al-Qaeda recruiter Anwar al-Awlaki to address its annual conference, describing him as a “distinguished guest.” Awlaki was later targeted and killed by a US drone strike in Yemen. His death was described by US President Barack Obama as “a major blow to Al Qaeda.”