British universities students have received a publication entitled, “Answers to Non-Muslims Questions about Islam” by Zakir Naik
Counter-extremism organisation Student Rights has reported that it has been contacted by students after material handed out at an event on a British university campus appeared to endorse terrorism and other discriminatory and offensive viewpoints.
At an event apparently organised by the Islamic Society at Keele University, students were shocked to receive a copy of a booklet called “Answers to Non-Muslims’ Common Questions about Islam” [PDF] which has been authored by the Indian cleric Dr Zakir Naik.
Naik was officially barred from the UK in 2010 due to a number of comments, including a claim that if Osama Bin Laden was “terrorising the terrorist, if he is terrorising America the terrorist, biggest terrorist, I am with him. Every Muslim should be a terrorist”.
Naik has been noted for his views on 9/11 as an “inside job” and has also declared that “homosexuality is forbidden in Islam and the punishment for homosexuality is death”.
Since the event, Student Rights tracked down a copy of the booklet circulated, and revealed a number of deeply concerning ideals found within it. It is rumoured that the booklet was obtained via the UK-based charity, the Islamic Dawah Centre International who this afternoon confirmed via telephone to The Commentator that they do supply the booklet, but they are currently out of stock. When asked as to whether they supply to university campuses, the response was, “of course”.
Student Rights have noted various concerns about the booklet, such as the comments, “If Islamic Shariah is implemented in any part of the world, whether it is America or Europe, society will breathe easier” and “Every Muslim should be a terrorist… every Muslim should be a terrorist for the antisocial elements of society, such as thieves, dacoits [bandits] and rapists”.
More concerns have been raised on the Student Rights blog.
Upon learning of the booklet’s contents, members of the Islamic Society quickly disavowed it and apologised. In discussions seen on Facebook, a number of Muslim students criticised the decision to hand it out, with one committee member stating “I was shocked upon hearing the booklet.”
Rupert Sutton, head researcher at Student Rights told The Commentator, “That material written by a man barred from the UK for his hateful views can be handed out by students at an on-campus event is deeply concerning, and highlights a lack of oversight that must be rectified.
“We do feel however, that the mature response from the Islamic Society after they found out the booklet’s contents, should be applauded. We hope that the university staff will sit down with them to discuss both the source of these booklets, and the importance of checking any material before handing it out.”
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