Radical scholars should be allowed to talk to university students on how acts of terrorism are justifiable, a minister has said. Higher Education Minister Bill Rammell said freedom of speech was the “most effective” means of addressing extreme views that did not break the law. He said it was “critical” that universities encouraged a culture of “openness, free debate and tolerance”. He added: “We prize academic freedom and freedom of speech as ends in themselves and as the most effective way of challenging the views which we may find abhorrent but that remain within the law.”http://www.themuslimweekly.com/newsdetails/fullstoryview.aspx?NewsID=F261B065EE76ADC77DA79C61&MENUID=HOMENEWS&DESCRIPTION=UK%20News
British university leaders have agreed to inform the police of any extremist behaviour by students or visiting speakers that they suspect may lead to terrorism. A new tool kit for universities issued today by Bill Rammell, the Universities Minister, advises universities to draw up a national watch list of guest speakers who should be banned from speaking on campus. It also suggests that universities consider setting up multi-faith chaplaincies instead of separate prayer rooms for different faiths, to promote integration and prevent pockets of extremists forming. Where they are allowed, Muslim chaplains should be trained to support vulnerable students who are being groomed, bullied or harassed by violent extremists so that these concerns can be passed to the police. Alexandra Frean reports. Mr Rammell was adamant, however, that Muslim students – particularly those coming from overseas – did not have the right to demand special treatment from British universities. Britain technically is a Christian country with many secular features. It’s those two things. It’s not anything else. If you expect that you would have the same response to your faith needs in Britain as would happen within a Muslim or Islamic country, (you) would be disappointed, he said.