An Islamist radical whose teaching role at a leading university was exposed yesterday by The Times led a secretive “Brothers’ Circle” at which he espoused his hardline views.
Reza Pankhurst, a senior figure in the hardline group Hizb ut-Tahrir, gathered a group of male members of the London School of Economics (LSE) Islamic Society for private talks.
Mr Pankhurst, whose party advocates the creation of an Islamic state governed by Sharia, is a research student employed as a teacher in the LSE’s government department.
He is due to teach undergraduate classes this term in three topics covering nationalism and revolution in the Arab world.
Mr Pankhurst retained his position in the Islamic Society and the college despite a number of students raising concerns last year about the overt political content of his sermons at Friday prayers.
The Students’ Union confirmed that it had reported those concerns to the Islamic Society and raised them “informally” with academics.
Hizb ut-Tahrir is banned in Germany for anti-Semitism and covered by the National Union of Students’ policy of “no platform” for racist and fascist views….” – from a story in the Times of London, January 16, 2010, here
There’s a well-known poem by Philip Larkin that takes to mocking task the “anti-war activists” who apparently thought that the Soviet threat could be fended off without military force. At the University of Essex, Chancellor Albert Sloman presiding, and at the London School of Economics, the student protests were particularly virulent:
When the Russian tanks roll westward,
What defence for you and me?
Colonel Sloman’s Essex Rifles?
The Light Horse of L.S.E.?
Larkin was rightly contemptuous of those who would put their faith not in the West’s maintaining its military strength, but rather in “Colonel Sloman’s Essex Rifles/And the Light Horse of L.S.E.” They infuriated Larkin, the commonsensical realist when it came to politics (he was a friend of Robert Conquest). When he dismissed the “Light Horse of L.S.E.,” he was referring only to the students. For those were the glory days for the L.S.E., when control was still held by the sensible — to wit, Donald Watt and Kenneth Minogue and Elie Kedourie, before its takeover and makeover by a tiers-mondisant (himself third-world — doing the subcontinental — in origin) head determined to make the school safe for the unscholarly leftist likes of Fred Halliday, and so it was. Fred Halliday himself was plucked from some Trotskyite think-tank in Amsterdam (had it been the Herzen Foundation of Karel van het Reve, that would have been quite another matter). It is amusing that nowadays this Marxist still prefers Marxism to Islam, and at least has had the wit to worry about the latter.
Larkin did not live to see that when he wrote, in 1971, of the “Light Horse of L.S.E.” At least those “Light Horse” would have been charging, however ineffectually (and Watt, Minogue, and Kedourie were worth their weight in well-armed brigades), against the enemy, and not against England itself. The transformation of the LSE has been not the only declension of an academic institution in recent years, but it has been one of the most spectacular in its speed.
LSE is where Donald Watt, Elie Kedourie, Kenneth Minogue, all once taught, wrote their books, and guided the students. They kept things sane. Even before they retired, or died, things had started to degenerate, standards to be lowered, the representatives of mass madness allowed in on the wings of attacks on “hegemonic postcolonial discourse.” And now comes the final act in the general degringolade at LSE, with a member of Hizb ut-Tahrir being allowed to teach courses on the Arabs and Islam.
And it is not just the LSE. The SOAS (School of Oriental and African Studies) is a hotbed of anti-Israel (antisemitic) activity. At Oxford, it was bad enough that for years at the Middle East part of St. Antony’s (a graduate college), the late Albert Hourani turned the place into a diploma mill (the diploma in question being the D.Phil.) for Arabs young and old, many of whom specialized in such fascinating topics as “The Construction of Palestinian Identity.” The former propagandist for the PLO, Rashid Khalidi, got his D.Phil. under Hourani at St. Antony’s, and today he is that appetizing thing, a full professor at Columbia, where he continues to act as the propagandist he was back in Beirut, or for that matter, in southside Chicago.
But, though he was a lowly lecturer for a while at St. Antony’s (while billing himself as a professor), Tariq Ramadan could never have imagined – who could have? – that he, a sinister propagandist for Islam, holding out for the gullible Infidels hope of the development of a “European Islam” (that will somehow be based, one must assume, on a different Qur’an, different Hadith, different Sira, from that read by Muslims everywhere in present-day Dar al-Islam), really has had a professorship bought and paid for, with the promise (perhaps some already delivered) made to Oxford of Arab financial favors. This happened not long after Tariq Ramadan’s appointment to a Professorship at the University of Leiden (paid for by an Arab government) had been announced. Apparently Ramadan realized that the University of Leiden would not be the place for him – Afshin Ellian, the brilliant apostate, teaches law there, and Professor Hans Jansen, though recently retired still carries weight in Dutch academic circles – and besides, Great Britain is the prize, the place that the Muslims want first to undermine from within, sensing its weakness. When his appointment was announced, the most disgusting part of the whole mercenary affair was the reaction of a professor at Oxford, who delightedly hailed the arrival of his new colleague, Frere Tariq, Tariq Ramadan.
At the time of the announcement of Ramadan’s appointment, Melanie Phillips gave some useful information about the source of funding:
Tariq Ramadan, the darling of the British political and security establishment which foolishly and ignorantly believes his aim is to modernise Islam whereas his actual agenda is to Islamise modernity, has for some years been referred to as an Oxford professor. This was not actually true; he was not a professor at Oxford University but a mere research fellow of St Anthony’s College, Oxford. But now the wish has become father to the deed. In the depths of the long vacation, the Oxford University Gazette announced that Ramadan had been appointed His Highness Sheikh Hamad Bin Khalifa Al Thani Professor of Contemporary Islamic Studies in the Faculty of Oriental Studies with effect from 1 October 2009.
Gratified as I’m sure everyone will be to hear that Tariq Ramadan (who was barred from the USA in 2004 and again in 2006 for allegedly giving money to a charity supporting Hamas, a ruling revoked by a federal court in July) can now really call himself an Oxford professor, there are disturbing implications for academic integrity when an Oxford University chair can be purchased in this fashion by an interest group – the Islamic world – which does not share the western understanding of academic objectivity. The chair is funded by a benefaction from Qatar, of which the Sheikh is the Emir. (The Sheikh is also one of the Arab associates of the “Oxford College for Research and PhD Studies” — which, since it poses with heraldry and Oxford blue logo, might be thought by the unwary to be a real Oxford University college when it is not.)
The Al-Thani of Qatar have distinguished themselves for a few things.
First, a member of the Al Thani ruling family alerted a known Al Qaeda operative that the F.B.I. was about to arrest him, and that warning allowed the wanted terrorist to escape.
Second, Qatar is the home of the Muslim cleric who has been ranting against the West, and providing a justification for suicide bombers, Yousef Al- Qaradawi.
Third, Qatar allows the propaganda outlet Al-Jazeera to keep its headquarters in Doha, and supports through generous subventions a television channel that the American government and military claim has broadcast falsehoods that resulted in attacks on, and the deaths of, American soldiers in Iraq.
Fourth, Qatar has repeatedly made overtures to the Islamic Republic of Iran, and has been attacked in the London Arab paper Al-Asharq Al-Awsat, financed by the Saudis, for doing so.
At Cambridge, there is the man formerly known as Tim Winter , a convert (or as he would have it, revert) to Islam, who shows up now and again under his Muslim name. He was, for example, one of the twenty-four Muslims who wrote an angry letter to Pope Benedict after the Pope did not show the deep respect they believe he should show, to Islam:
In response to the anger prompted by the Pope’s Regensburg address, 138 Muslim scholars and religious leaders last year wrote him a letter warning that the future of the planet depended on Muslims and Christians making peace with each other.
The delegation of 24 Muslim leaders is led by the Grand Mufti of Bosnia, Mustafa Ceric, and includes an Iranian ayatollah and an American woman academic specialising in Islamic studies.
British members of the delegation include Dr Anas Al-Shaikh-Ali, chairman of the UK Association of Muslim Social Scientists, and Sheikh Dr Abdal Hakim Murad Winter, lecturer in Islamic studies at Cambridge University.
That last one – “Sheikh Dr. Abdal Hakim Murad Winter,” a “lecturer in Islamic studies at Cambridge University,” turns out to be none other than plain old Tim Winter, the name he carefully uses when he writes reviews in the TLS or articles in the British press. He wants to be a true-blue Englishman for the purposes of deceiving his audiences, but on the other hand, among Muslims, doing Muslim things, he of course wants to be known by the name that really means something to him, “Dr. Abdal [Abdul?] Hakim Murad Winter.” One wonders who else he has managed to get hired, or promoted, at Cambridge, while the non-Muslim (and non-collaborating faculty members) chose not to make or take a stand, or were otherwise distracted.
And then there are the places where Saudi money has bought, has indeed paid for, whole centers for the study of Islam. Centers, for example, set up by the Saudis at the Universities of Exeter and Durham. At such places, those who prove unwilling to meet the ideological requirements of the Saudis are let go. For more on this, see the case, and the testimony, of Denis MacEoin.
Melanie Phillips, in the same article from which I took the information above about the naming of, and funding for, Tariq Ramadan’s all-expenses-paid-by-Qatar chair at Oxford, also quotes Robin Simcox, a researcher for the Centre for Social Cohesion, on the influence of Arab money on its academic recipients:
…an academic chairing a public event on terrorist networks in Europe at St Antony’s College, Oxford, stifled discussion on the sources of funding for these networks after a fellow academic raised the subject. The Brunei Gallery at the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) was also forced to take down a photograph taken by a Saudi artist at their gallery after it was deemed to be insulting to Muslims and Islam…
The way in which universities are being run has been altered to match the wishes of donors. For example, the management committee at Islamic Studies centres at the universities of Cambridge and Edinburgh contain appointees picked by Prince Alwaleed, their principal donors. Furthermore, a variety of universities have altered their fields of study in line with the interests and wishes of donors.
Specialist teaching and research centres have been set up with a specific political agenda. For example, the Al-Maktoum Institute, an independent institution which has its degrees validated by the University of Aberdeen, was established in order to disseminate the “vision” of its primary donor and namesake. Furthermore, when British universities establish Confucius Institutes, an arm of the Chinese government, the curriculum and teaching standard is decided by the regime, with the university required to accept “operational guidance” from this regime….
The MEC [Oxford University’s Middle East Centre at St Anthony’s College] has received substantial sums of money from sources in the Middle East. The way in which this money has been used means there is a clear risk that donors will seek to influence the output and activities of the MEC. In addition, many large donations to the MEC have been anonymous, creating a lack of transparency. In many cases Oxford has knowingly accepted money from undemocratic states with poor human rights records…Several agreements made between the MEC and donors appear to indicate that funders have sought to influence the centre’s output and activities.
But it’s not just the capture of British academic centers, and departments, and individual chairs (well-upholstered with Arab money), that should alarm. It is also the fact that the terminally naÃ¯ve or craven in the British government now pay for, and rely on, those in phony “moderate Muslim” think tanks, such as the Quilliam Foundation, who remain apologists for Islam even as they ostentatiously attack the most outrageous carriers of Islam, such as Anjem Choudary. Don’t be fooled by such denunciations; the test is whether those who are labeled as “moderate Muslims,” at such places as the Quilliam Foundation, are willing to tell the unhappy truth about the texts and tenets of Islam, the attitudes and atmospherics of Islam – not a “fanatical few,” not the “handful of violent extremists,” but of perfectly mainstream Muslims, who share the same goal as Al Qaeda or any other Muslim terrorist group, but differ only on the efficacy and wisdom, at this point, of the terrorist groups’ timing and tactics. No, if the test is truth-telling, it’s a test these government-paid “Muslim moderates” consistently fail.
The problem is far more, alas, then this or that identifiable and discrete agent of Islam preaching the Islamic gospel according to Hizb ut-Tahrir. It’s the agents of Islam, bought and paid for, all over the academic archipelago that exists in Great Britain. Come to think of it, all over the academic archipelago that exists all over the Western world. Some departments of history or Islamic studies have managed to resist; some are even fighting back. But there has to be greater awareness, by university administrators, by alumni, by students (the hapless victims, in many cases, of these Muslim propagandists, both of the crude and, as in the case of Tariq Ramadan, the slithering hissing colubrine variety), and by faculty in other fields, who should not be hesitant to identify, and seek to undo, those who seek to undo us, intellectually as in all other ways.
For Muslims the war against any Infidels who resist the spread and dominance of Islam is a religious duty. It is also guerre Ã outrance, a war without end and without any scruples. For the goal justifies all means.
That is something that needs to be explained to their intended victims; in other words, taught to poor naÃ¯ve innocent unwary Infidel us.