'Challenging Extremists', a report by Student Rights and the Henry Jackson Society, says individuals invited to address students on U.K. university campuses have promoted fear of a Western war against Islam, support for paramilitary violence in Israel, intolerance of non-believers and Islam as an obligatory political system for law and governance.
British students are being targeted online by Islamist extremists using social media, according to the new report, which lists evidence of individuals targeting student social media pages to share extremist material.
One individual targeted students via social media to share a video of Abu Ibrahim, designated by the US government as an al-Qaeda linked fighter, recruiter, facilitator and propagandist; there was also an audio recording of Abdul Rahman Saleem, convicted in 2008 of inciting terrorism overseas during a speech at Regent's Park mosque. In some cases, students themselves have shared extreme videos of deceased senior al-Qaeda cleric Anwar al-Awlaki.
The extremist group Hizb ut-Tahrir, identified by the British government as targeting specific universities, continues to infiltrate campuses and remains influential among some students.
The University of Westminster Student Union President and Vice President for Education have both been 'No-Platformed' by the National Union of Students and are not allowed to attend conferences after they refused to comply with an investigation into their links with the group. A small number of student activists at London universities, as well as recent graduates that they interact with, engage in Hizb ut-Tahrir activism and disseminate extremist Islamist material.
The report also provides universities, student unions and the UK government with practical recommendations for challenging extremism while preserving an open environment on campuses.
The recommendations account for stakeholders' legal duties as well as the requirement under charity law that student unions must preserve their charitable reputation. They include extending the NUS 'No Platform' policy to front groups for banned organizations; details on appropriate risk assessments of external speakers; how to challenge candidates for student union positions with suspected links to extremist groups without compromising democracy; and practical steps to challenge extremist material on student social media.
Executive summary: http://henryjacksonsociety.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/05/SRExecutiveSum...