City Uni and Islam

Blimey. City University is already at the centre of a row over the role of Islam on campuses, having entertained extremist clerics and been the scene of violence against Muslims. So you’d imagine that Rosie Waterhouse, head of the MA course in investigative journalism, knew what she was doing by writing a piece in the Indy urging a ban on the niqab...

I think the niqab should be banned at university. Some of my colleagues agree with me; others don’t. But the issue should be debated. Should universities be more vigilant in monitoring Islamic societies and the literature they disseminate? Some of the material contains extremist ideology, at worst promoting “jihad”, variously translated as personal struggle and holy war, at best advocating total separation from the “kufir”– non-believers or infidels – and effectively promoting religious hatred, now a criminal offence in English law.

The whole thing is incredible. Not just in a university that is already tinderbox dry. Anyone who knows anything about Islam understands that the notion of Jihad – the struggle to be a better Muslim – is central to the religion. To denounce it as extremist and one of the worst bits of the religion is not just ignorant – it’s inflammatory.  Strong stuff from Waterhouse and an indication of how high feelings are running. I suspect that this row is not going away.

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