London university to host anti-gay extremist Islamic preacher
Brunel University in Uxbridge, west London, has been criticised for allowing a cleric who supports the killing of gay people to attend a student event.
Abu Usamah at-Thahabi is due to make a speech on campus at Brunel’s Islamic Society on Tuesday 27 November.
His extreme views have already been documented in a Channel 4 programme and by the Centre for Social Cohesion.
Thahabi previously urged that gay people should be punished with death.
“Do you practice homosexuality with men? Take that homosexual man and throw him off the mountain,” Thahabi was recorded as saying in the Dispatches programme.
“If I were to call homosexuals perverted, dirty, filthy dogs who should be murdered, that’s my freedom of speech, isn’t it?”
He also mocked Western attitudes towards women and attacked Christians and Jews.
Following the broadcast, Thahabi was interviewed by Channel 4 News, where he refused to reject the comments.
Earlier this year, the cleric was prevented from speaking at the University of Warwick’s Islamic Society, following a backlash by students.
Anti-extremist campaign group Student Rights has called on Brunel University to review its decision to allow Thahabi on its premises.
In a statement the university said:
“The talk is going ahead as we have a legal duty to protect freedom of speech and we have asked for assurances from the Union of Brunel Students that this person will not breach the policies of the university, such as those on equality and diversity.
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“However, if we are concerned that these policies will be breached, the event will not be allowed to take place.”