Phyllis Chesler Interviews Carol Gould

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If home for the UK Olympics team is a military base, whither the Americans?
Last uploaded : Wednesday 14th Apr 2010 at 00:00
Contributed by : Carol Gould


[Editor's note: No sooner had we filed this story than we heard that the UK has decided NOT to base its Olympic team at Aldershot military base, but also at a university....]

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I really did think it was an April Fool joke when I heard that the American 2012 Olympics contingent, estimated at a thousand people, will be lodged at the University of East London.

My immediate reaction was “What? They will be living, eating, exercising and administering the American effort in an environment in which there has been a welcome given to radical campus guests?”

Before putting pen to paper I decided to check my facts and see if my knee-jerk reaction was a needless form of hysteria, the kind of over-the-top terrorist-fear of which Americans are accused by phlegmatic liberal Europeans and Britons. In fact, Britons who express fear about the proliferation of extremist Muslim groups handing out incendiary leaflets on our streets are more often than not branded Islamophobes by the media, by employers, by their local politicians and even by shop assistants. So I went into research mode and was able to acquire valuable background information from the excellent Center for Social Cohesion headed by the brave Douglas Murray.

It appears that in October 2002 at an “Islamic Fair” at University of East London Omar Khyam -- mastermind of the terrifying fertiliser bomb plot in which several large British targets were to be blown to smithereens with mass casualties -- met Anthony Garcia, a fellow member of the cell. Garcia, according to Center for Social Cohesion member Robin Simcox, had participated in a screening by the University’s Islamic Society of radical videos showing alleged atrocities in Kashmir.

Uthman Lateef, also known as Abu Mujahid, was recorded at a December 12, 2007 event telling his enthusiastic followers: “When you accept something from an alien or foreign tradition that is not from the core religion, down the line, decades, centuries, millennia after that, you’re going to get a very rotten apple.” This may seem harmless enough but the agenda is as follows: you come to a western country and you impose your religious beliefs on the majority and if they do not accept your beliefs you use any means necessary to enforce that conversion. Look, for example at what happened when the abovementioned Center for Social Cohesion’s Douglas Murray tried to stage an intelligent debate with Anjam Choudary, former head of the now-banned al Muhajiroun, only for the proceedings to be cancelled because Choudary’s supporters tried to separate men and women attending the event in the historic Conway Hall. He then went outside and declared that sharia law would one day prevail in Britain. It is in this tradition that Abu Mujahid addressed his followers at University of East London.

In a 2007 Channel Four television program Abu Usama adh Dhahabee advocated holy war in an Islamic state. He said “Whoever changes his religion from al-Islam to anything else kill him in the Islamic state. Allah has created the woman, even if she gets a PhD, deficient.” He said homosexuality and apostasy are punishable by death and continued in that vein: “Take that homosexual man and throw him off the mountain.” Referring non-Muslim nations, he said “Whether these kuffar are from the UK, or from the US we love the people of Islam and we hate the kuffars.”

Abu Usama was invited to University of East London to speak alongside Uthman Lateef at the Islamic Society’s annual dinner on April 28, 2009. The event was cancelled after the aforementioned Douglas Murray’s Center for Social Cohesion informed the university authorities of the extremist nature of the speakers. However no action was taken to stop Dhahabee’s appearance at the rescheduled dinner on June 17, 2009 despite a repeated deputation from the CSC. It is notable that the debacle with Anjam Choudary at Conway Hall occurred in the same week.

Haitham al-Haddad was invited by the University of East London’s Islamic Society to appear at an event on December 9, 2009. According to Robin Simcox of the CSC he advocates the abolition of Israel and supports Hamas. Showing what great knowledge he has of Jewish history he has said Israelis should leave Palestine and “go back to their own countries.”

Readers may say, “So what? The University is a place of intellectual fervor and pedagogy. Free speech is part of that equation.” What I find worrying it that the British Olympic team has already made it clear that taking security considerations into account means they will be ensconsed in the military environment of Aldershot army base. So why is the United States not seeking a similarly secure headquarters? I am not suggesting University of East London is going to be the scene of an atrocity to match the horror of the slaughter of the Israeli team in Munich in 1972 in what was supposed to have been a safe Olympic village, and one assumes the university will make every effort to provide cast-iron security. But with the kind of frightening hostility I received at Queen’s School Bushey, England in mid-March still reverberating in my mind many weeks later, when several hundred angry little children shouted and cheered when America was trashed by Muslim audience members, I am not convinced a university is the safest venue for a crowd of Americans. 2012 is not far off and all one can hope is that University of East London provides every precaution available to protect their “kuffar” guests.

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