Four London universities named and shamed for allowing extremists to address students

Four London universities were today named and shamed by the Prime Minister for allowing extremists to address students.

Credit: PA

David Cameron was chairing a meeting of the government's Extremism Taskforce ahead of new laws which come into force next week.

Colleges will be forced to adopt policies which stop hate preachers radicalising students on campus.

Downing Street singled out Queen Mary, King's College and SOAS - all part of the University of London - and Kingston University.

The four colleges were said to have hosted the most events in 2014. Speakers included:

  • Haitham Al-Haddad
  • Dr Uthman Lateef
  • Alomgir Ali
  • Imran Ibn Mansur, also known as Dawah Man
  • Hamza Tzortis
  • Dr Salman Butt

All have attacked British values.

We were disappointed to see that the announcement made today by the Prime Minister's Office includes some inaccuracies. We have not hosted any extremist speakers in the last year, or indeed the recent past.

SOAS has a robust code of practice for events held on campus and conducts due diligence on all such activities. We take our duty of care to our community and our legal obligations very seriously. The School community is working to ensure compliance with the Prevent Duty, which is expected to come into force for universities this September.

SOAS is committed to the pursuit and dissemination of knowledge. This can only be conducted effectively in an atmosphere of open enquiry, mutual tolerance and intellectual freedom. We provide a unique, high-profile platform for nuanced, informed debate in the centre of one of the world's greatest cities.

We protect and respect these key freedoms but also recognise that the rights to academic freedom and freedom of speech and expression are not absolute - they are freedoms within the law.

– Laura Gibbs, SOAS Registrar

All public institutions have a role to play in rooting out and challenging extremism.

It is not about oppressing free speech or stifling academic freedom, it is about making sure that radical views and ideas are not given the oxygen they need to flourish.

Schools, universities and colleges, more than anywhere else, have a duty to protect impressionable young minds and ensure that our young people are given every opportunity to reach their potential.