Woolwich attackers' university hosted 'extremist' preachers

Greenwich University has hosted numerous extremist speakers over the past decade, leading to questions over the Woolwich attackers' radicalisation

by The Commentator on 25 May 2013 12:08

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It was reported today that the university of the attackers that killed Drummer Lee Rigby in Woolwich this week played host to a number of extremist speakers on campus over the past decade.

Greenwich University, which both Michael Adebolajo and Michael Adebowale attended, recently hosted the likes of Dr. Khalid Fikry, Zahir Mahmoud and Abu Usamah.

While links to the pair have not been established through the university's Islamic Society, the revelations raise further questions as to the utilisation of British university campuses by anti-Western extremists.

Student Rights, a counter-extremism pressure group run by The Commentator's Executive Editor Raheem Kassam revealed to The Telegraph yesterday that a pamphlet written by radical preacher Dr. Zakir Naik appears to have been distributed at Greenwich in 2011. Naik is banned from entering Britain, and his publication, "Answers to Non-Muslims' Common Questions about Islam" has been raised as a matter of concern on previous occasions. 

Naik has previously claimed 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 also 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”.

The invitations by Greenwich's Islamic Society toward Dr. Khalid Fikry has also raised concerns. Fikry is known for his virulently sectarian views and his rhetorical support for convicted terrorists,. He is believed to be the author of this tribute to Omar Abdul Rahman, the Blind Sheikh, who was convicted of seditious conspiracy after a plot was uncovered to blow up numerous sites in the United States.

Dr Fikry spoke in support of Rahman at a Belmarsh Iftar organised in support of Muslim prisoners held in the maximum security prison in August 2012. During his speech he described Rahman as “the greatest scholar” and declares that there was “no evidence at all” to support his conviction.

Another speaker who was advertised as appearing at a 2011 event organised by the university’s Islamic society was Zahir Mahmoud, who has been accused of glorifying Hamas as freedom fighters. The society has also promoted videos by another radical preacher, Abu Usamah, on its Facebook page.

Abu Usamah, a Birmingham-based imam, featured on the Channel 4 Dispatches programme Undercover Mosque in which he expressed support for Osama bin Laden. His past statements have demonstrated "an extraordinary intolerance and hatred towards non-Muslims" according to a Student Rights briefing. He has stated, “we hate the people of the kufr [non-Muslims]. We hate the kuffar”.

Usamah also declared that “we ask Allah to bring about the means and the ways in which the Muslims will get the power and the honour of repelling the oppression of the kuffar, where we can go out and perform the jihad”.

A spokesman for Greenwich University declined to comment on the Islamic Society’s activities, or to confirm the Woolwich suspects had been students there. No one from the Islamic Society was available for comment.

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