The Mail revealed yesterday that several extremists are being permitted to express their views unchallenged in Britain’s Universities. ‘CAGE’ – the notorious organisation which called Islamic State killer Jihadi John ‘a beautiful young man’ – has participated in at least 13 university events since September, and another group, MEND, an Islamist organisation whose director has condoned the killing of British troops, appeared in at least ten events on campuses across the country last term.
One speaker, Egyptian cleric Fadel Soliman spoke at five such events last year, using them to refer Muslim students to an online lecture series in which he speaks in favour of hitting women and outlines the Islamic case for sex slavery and polygamy. In one, he suggests it is acceptable for a man to hit his wife, if she repeatedly ‘goes out and refuses to say where she’s going’. He says: ‘The hitting must be done with a small stick’ and ‘should not be painful’, adding: ‘The true implication of the spanking is to sound an alarm that the husband has passed to a new stage of serious displeasure.’
Mr Soliman is thought to have spoken at Nottingham, Leicester, Leeds, Manchester and Sheffield universities. He urged young Muslims to watch his disturbing 30-part video series endorsing violent and extreme practices.
When asked to comment he said: ‘I have provided the Mail with a detailed response to the allegations which are published in this article and informed them in detail why I am not guilty of the things which they allege against me. Once the paper is published, I will respond to the allegations on my own website.’
Another organisation allowed to speak unchallenged at recent university events is MEND – a radical Islamist group that has been associated with a number of extremist statements. MEND’s head of community development, Azad Ali, has suggested the killing of British troops can be justified.
He has also said that the 2008 Mumbai attacks, in which a gang of Islamist militants slaughtered more than 160 people, were ‘not terrorism’ and that implementing Sharia law was more important than democracy.
Terror expert Professor Anthony Glees said CAGE were ‘craven apologists for terrorism’ and exactly the kind of ‘non-violent extremists’ the new Prevent rules for universities were supposed to crack down on.
‘This is very disturbing. Universities are providing a safe space for CAGE to brainwash young people,’ he said.
‘I hope that the outcome will be the exclusion of CAGE from our campuses and particularly from Islamic student societies.
Home Secretary Theresa May said the revelations show universities need to do more to stop ‘damaging, extremist rhetoric’ going unchallenged on campuses.
Up to 19 universities could now face an inquiry by the Higher Education Funding Council for England, it is understood.