Jihadi John’s university hosts 25 radical speakers – report
The University of Westminster, where Emwazi gained a degree in computer science, was found by right-wing think tank Henry Jackson to have hosted speakers from the National Union of Students (NUS) blacklist 25 times since 2012.
Speakers include Shohana Khan and Adnan, who are members of the group Hizb ut-Tahrir that favors a caliphate ruled under Sharia law.
They are also reported to have given a platform to a Palestinian academic who called homosexuality a “criminal act,” as well as allowing Uthman Lateef, the British cleric, to speak in 2012.
Lateef has been recorded saying: “We don’t accept homosexuality. We hate it because Allah hates it.”
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The report, titled “Preventing Prevent? Challenges to Radicalization on campus,” found that there were nine events hosting radical preachers between 2012 and 2013.
Student Rights, the research group forming part of the Henry Jackson Society, said the invites encouraged a “culture conducive to the promotion of non-violent extremism.”
The report, which took data from speeches at universities in the UK, found there had been 132 extremist speakers in 2012, 145 in 2013 and 123 in 2014. It added that some student bodies refused to take part in the government’s Prevent strategy.
Student Rights said many of the events hosted only one speaker and were lacking in debate. “Instead, they tend to function as unchallenged platforms where extreme or intolerant speakers are presented as religious or political authorities.”
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Prime Minister David Cameron outlined tough new legislation for academic institutions, saying it was their responsibility to clamp down on the threat of radicalization on campuses.
He faced backlash among academics, however, who said the new laws will impede their ability to teach properly and manage universities prioritizing free speech.
Cameron was also criticized for highlighting the NUS’s links with CAGE, an advocacy group working against the war on terror, which he classified a “non-violent terror organization.”
After it emerged that Emwazi had studied there, Westminster University said the institution wholeheartedly condemned the “promotion of radicalization, terrorism and violence.”
Author of the Student Rights report Rupert Sutton said Westminster University appeared to have more “rigorous” policies on choosing speakers since the revelation.
A spokesman for the university said they had implemented “robust” policies for speakers.
“The safety and security of our students is our foremost concern. We have strict policies to promote tolerance among our students.”