- Sep 16, 2004
Muslim Extremists Target StudentsSunday 9th October, 2005
Fauja Singh - Panthic Weekly Staff
Ruth Kelly, British Education Secretary UK (KP)
A few weeks ago the British Education Secretary Ruth Kelly said that British universities have been told to spy on student activists to prevent the spread of Islamist extremism and terror.
The Education Secretary said that Vice-Chancellors had a duty to inform the police where they believed that students or staff were breaking the law or committing ''possible criminal acts''.
Freedom of speech and thought on campus did not extend to tolerance of unacceptable behaviour, she told the Annual Conference of Universities UK, the body representing vice-chancellors and principals, in London.
''Following the London bomb attacks in July, we are all having to re-examine certain policies. One is not sure how to respond to those misusing the freedom of our society to promote terrorism and violence. Freedom of speech or expression is one of the most fundamental rights that individuals enjoy. And higher education is an amalgamation of those values.'' Ms. Kelly continued, ‘’However, freedom of speech does not mean tolerance of unacceptable behaviour. I believe that higher education institutions need to identify and confront unacceptable behaviour on their premises and within their communities.'’
Universities need to be alert to the activities of student groups and should be unafraid to set their own boundaries about what was acceptable, using the law as support. ''That means informing the police where criminal offences are being perpetrated or where there may be concerns about possible criminal acts,'' Ms Kelly said.
Universities and colleges have a duty to support and look after the moderate majority as they study, to ensure that those students are not harassed, intimidated or pressured, she added.
However university leaders expressed concern at being asked to ''police'' their students but said that they accepted that the terrorist threat could not be ignored. Drummond Bone, the president of UK, said that everyone wanted to make sure that students were not intimidated. He said that universities were revising their advice on extremism and security in the light of the July attacks.
''I don't think any university feels entirely happy about having a policing role over its own members. We are in a difficult situation,'' he said. A dossier prepared by Whitehall officials warned British Prime Minister Tony Blair about a network of ''extremist recruiters'' circulating on campuses, directed at students and people with ''technical and professional'' qualifications. It said, ''Students and young professionals from good backgrounds have also become involved in extremist politics and even terrorism.'' Last month Mr Blair pledged to outlaw the extremist groups Al-Muhajiroun and Hizb ut-Tahrir as part of his response to the London bombings. Al Muhajiroun's founder, the radical cleric Omar Bakri Mohammad, was banned from Britain last month while on holiday in Lebanon. The National Union of Students has already banned both groups from its campus unions, accusing Hizb ut-Tahrir of ''supporting terrorism''. But the Muslim youth organisation has been accused of continuing its recruitment activities under a series of 'front' names. The Federation of Student Islamic Societies has warned that Hizb ut-Tahrir would target ''vulnerable'' students when universities re-opened this month.
A report by the Social Affairs Unit, a right-wing think tank, has warned that some British universities ''may have become, and may still be, safe havens for terrorist ideas and recruits.'' The report by Professor Anthony Glees and Chris Pope, both at Brunel University, named 24 universities ''where extremist and/or terror groups have been detected''.
Islamic societies and Muslim student organisations in universities and colleges have in the past targeted Sikh students in pursuit of converting Sikh girls to Islam. A decade ago the British Organisation of Sikh Students worked with the NUS to ban Islamic fundamentalists from UK university campuses. However, the new news of Muslim extremists infiltrating student organisations and societies in university and college is worrying for the Sikh community.
Sikh Societies have been talking about what they have observed of tactics of Islamic Societies at “fresher fair” approaching people and bombarding with questions and how only Islam is true and everyone else is damned to hell.
With the beginning of the new academic year the ‘fundamentalist Muslims’ issue has come to light once again in universities, with fundamentalist preying upon ignorant Sikhs who know little or nothing about the Sikh faith. Sikh students are bombarded with questions upon questions about Sikhi which is followed up by distorted accounts of Sikh religion.
Other tactics have also been reported in past and Sikh student organisations have received information of numerous accounts of Islamic organisations paying £10,000 plus to Muslims who will convert Sikhs. A notions has been embedded in to Muslims that converting a Sikh into Islam will give there whole family a straight ticket to heaven. On top of the monetarily and afterlife incentive Muslims who have converted someone into there faith seem to be looked highly upon but certain members of community as for fulfilling “there duty.” Numerous methods are being used to convert people from deceiving female students, seducing them and making them pregnant in order to convert them.
Sikh societies and Sikh student organisation should be vigilant of this subtle and direct extreme missionary preaching by Islamic organisations and as a community we should address the issue of many Sikh youngsters being ignorant of the Sikh faith and therefore, vulnerable to dangerous Muslim radicals.
A few weeks ago the British Education Secretary Ruth Kelly said that British universities have been told to spy on student activists to prevent the spread of Islamist extremism and terror. The Education Secretary said that Vice-Chancellors had a duty to inform the police where they believed that students or staff were breaking the law or committing ''possible criminal acts''.
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