Just ahead of (and in preparation for) the publication of the updated Prevent Strategy, Home Secretary Theresa May criticized British universities for not taking the issue of radicalization amongst students seriously enough. Without sufficient willingness on the side of university officials to tackle radicalization, Muslim extremists could easily form groups on campus that support extremism, May argues. She called for universities to challenge extremist ideologies more actively and send clear messages to those that support extremism on university campuses.
11 February 2011
A radical preacher banned from entering the country may now lose the platform to broadcast messages of hate to British television screens. Zakir Naik – who has claimed that “every Muslim should be a terrorist” – was banned from coming to Britain last June by Theresa May in one of her first major acts as Home Secretary. But eight months on, the 45-year-old cleric is still a key figure in a company that holds an Ofcom-approved licence for Peace TV.
Now, the broadcasting watchdog has confirmed it is investigating the satellite channel, broadcast in English and Urdu, after receiving a complaint from a viewer over its extremist messages. Programmes on Peace TV have included praise for “mujahideen” fighting British troops in Iraq, labelled Jews as an “enemy of Islam” and made claims about the 9/11 terror attacks being an “inside job”.
Terry Jones, the controversial American preacher who wanted to burn the Koran in public, has been banned from entering Britain. The Home Secretary, Theresa May, banned Mr Jones after he accepted an invitation to address England is Ours, a fringe anti-Islamic group with links to the British National Party.
A spokesman for the Home Office said: “The Government opposes extremism in all its forms which is why we have excluded Pastor Terry Jones from the UK. Numerous comments made by Pastor Jones are evidence of his unacceptable behaviour.”
The preacher had hoped to address demonstrations in the UK against Islam and said refusing him entry was a blow against free speech.
The home secretary, Theresa May, is facing a stiff test of the Conservative party’s claims to oppose radical Islam after her officials chose to allow a misogynist Muslim preacher into Britain.
Zakir Naik, an Indian televangelist described as a “hate-monger” by moderate Muslims and one Tory MP, says western women make themselves “more susceptible to rape” by wearing revealing clothing.
Naik, who proselytises on Peace TV, a satellite television channel, is reported to have called for the execution of Muslims who change their faith, described Americans as “pigs” and said that “every Muslim should be a terrorist”.
In opposition, David Cameron and other senior Tories led criticism of the Labour government for allowing radical preachers into Britain to stir up hatred on lecture tours. While in opposition, Cameron also campaigned to get Yusuf al-Qaradawi, an Egyptian radical, banned from Britain.