Nottingham University Islamic Society has been forced to postpone speaking event with Shaykh Asrar Rashid; the cleric who said Hitler did Jews ‘a favour’

From the Jewish Chronicle

Nottingham University Islamic Society has postponed an event with a cleric who claimed Hitler did Jews “a favour” amid outrage among Jewish students that he was invited to speak in the first place.

Birmingham-based cleric Shaykh Asrar Rashid, who once labelled the late Queen Elizabeth II a “disgusting woman”, had been invited by the Islamic Society to give a talk on “The End of Times”.

7 December Facebook post advertising the event said only “brothers” would be permitted to attend the talk at the University’s Law and Social Science building.

On 10 December the society said the talk would take place at the Lenton Muslim Centre as it would no longer be able to host the event on campus. It also said the event would be open to “brothers and sisters”.

The following day the society wrote that the talk was “postponed until further notice due to unforeseen circumstances”.

However the event has not been cancelled, with the ISoc’s post noting that it would keep followers posted on a revised date.

A spokesperson for the University of Nottingham Students Union told the JC  “At the University of Nottingham Students’ Union we value, champion, and uphold freedom of speech and actively encourage our student community to share ideas in a spirit of mutual respect and intellectual curiosity. Our student societies cover a wide range of beliefs and provide the opportunity to agree, disagree and debate. We have been made aware of an invitation issued by the Islamic Society to Asrar Rashid to address its members. The Students’ Union has requested a postponement of the event to ensure that the agreed process for issuing such speaker invitations has been followed and allows us to determine whether the event can be held peacefully and safely for all those concerned. . . ”

In a statement, a Nottingham Jewish Society spokesperson said: “We are appalled by the invitation of Asrar Rashid to deliver this talk on campus. Rashid’s repeated comments inciting hatred against Jewish people and the LGBT+ community give us cause for deepest concern, especially given that many of these hateful comments have been made in previous talks on the same topic, the End of Days.

“We are pleased that the event did not take place as scheduled, yet we will continue to make representations to ensure that it is not organised for a later date.  This invitation should never have been approved in the first place, and our complaints should have been taken seriously and been treated discretely by the University and Students’ Union. . . ”

The JC approached Shaykh Asrar Rashid and the University of Nottingham Islamic Society for comment.


One Response

  1. Driving the hatemonger underground before offering the alternative of having a public debate on the hatemonger’s main points, is dumb and cowardly.
    It’s time to realize that in the public arena there is no such thing as “free speech,” that such presentations are always encumbered with consequences; penalties of unintended interpretations, penalties imposed by those who find the truth unbearable.
    Let’s duke it out in the open and allow the audience to make up its collective mind and accept the consequences for actions it may take.
    Violators of the peace should be seriously punished and isolated on some desert island for osmotic anger self-management as their just dessert.

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