Study highlights intimidation of women, Jewish, gay and Muslim students
The Quilliam Foundation’s latest briefing paper, Radicalisation on British University Campuses: A case study, cites hate incidents at City University in London during the last academic year (September 2009 – June 2010).
The report suggests that academic institutions can become incubators for extremist, intolerant and potentially violent forms of the political ideology of Islamism.
Responding to the Quilliam report, human rights campaigner Peter Tatchell, of the LGBT rights group OutRage!, said:
“This report is a wake-up call to complacent university authorities and student unions. They too often look the other way while Islamists foment hatred and intolerance among the student population.
“The vast majority of Muslim students do not share an extremist mindset. They risk
ostracism and denunciation by fundamentalists.
“Quilliam have produced a commendable expose of the way Islamist fanatics are bullying and threatening other students. It highlights sexist, homophobic and anti-Semitic intimidation, and the victimisation of Muslims and non-believers who do not adhere to hard-line fundamentalist Islam.
“Radicalisation often begins with the promotion of misogynistic, queer-baiting and anti-Jewish prejudice; together with the stirring up of hostility against Muslims who believe in other strands of Islam or who have abandoned their faith. Such intolerance is can be a gateway to Islamist extremism. That’s why it should never be ignored or tolerated. City University would never host white supremacists who incite racism and racial violence. Why the double standards?” queried Mr Tatchell.
A spokesperson the Quilliam Foundation said:
“University campuses have been recognised by policy-makers as key places where Islamist ideologies can spread, but the processes of radicalisation involved have often remained unclear. This paper seeks to address this knowledge gap by identifying the factors on a university campus that may contribute to radicalising an individual towards Islamist-inspired terrorism. Whilst the paper does not suggest that everyone exposed to these factors will become a terrorist, it shows how and why exposure to them can increase the risk of radicalisation towards terrorism as well as illustrating the considerable disruption that such radicalisation can have on campus life.
“The paper concludes with specific recommendations for universities, students’ unions and government to prevent similar situations from arising on other university campuses.
“Radicalisation on British University Campuses’ is the latest of Quilliam’s publications to deal with areas where the risk of radicalisation is either high or is poorly understood. Previous reports released in the last year include studies of radicalisation in prisons and on Arabic-language jihadist websites.”