Oxford Union invites banned anti-Islam activist


With the news that the Oxford Union had invited Anjem Choudary to speak (closely followed by Trinity College Dublin putting such restrictions on Maryam Namazie that she was effectively barred) I know certain people wrote letters and e-mails of protest to the University. This is not the most obvious effect – but I think it is a brave and intelligent one. 

From The Cherwell 

In one of her first acts as President of the Oxford Union, Olivia Merrett has invited American author and leader of the group ‘Jihadi Watch’ Robert Spencer to take part in next term’s ‘This House Believes Radicalisation is Born at Home’ debate, along with the radical Islamist preacher Anjem Choudary.

Robert Spencer, who also co-founded the group ‘Stop Islamization of America’ (SIOA), is banned from entering the UK, following the Home Office’s 2013 decision that his visit would not be “conducive to the public good”, and that his views would be likely to “foster hatred which might lead to inter-community violence”.

The ban was issued after he was invited to speak at an EDL rally in Woolwich, where drummer Lee Rigby was killed. At around the same time, Anjem Choudary infamously declared himself “proud” of Michael Adebolajo, one of Rigby’s killers, and insisted that Rigby would “burn in hellfire”.

In the invitation, seen by Cherwell and reproduced in full below, Merrett told Spencer, “Your knowledge and experience will be of huge interest to many in the University.

Though projects such as SIOA may be appear [sic] somewhat questionable, we would like to hear your reasons behind it.”

Merrett also intimated that Spencer would have control over which media outlets would be allowed to cover the debate, telling him, “The level of media coverage is, of course, entirely at your discretion.”

In a post on the Jihadi Watch website, which was taken down almost instantly, Spencer commended the Oxford Union for extending the invitation, and called for it to appeal to the Home Office to get the ban lifted.

But Tommy Robinson, founder of the English Defence League (EDL), and sometime associate of Robert Spencer, defended the Oxford Union for the invitations to Spencer and Choudary, and called for the Home Office ban to be lifted, telling Cherwell, “I think it’s about time we heard some people who were honest. Anjem Choudary’s very honest, and so is Robert Spencer.

“Robert Spencer tells the truth; that’s all he does, he tells the truth. He’s never called for violence, never incited any hate, he’s just told the truth about an ideology. And the only reason he was banned was because they were fearful that it could provoke terrorism.

“So what they’re doing is limiting not just his freedoms but they’re limiting what freedoms we have to listen to people in this country, because of what the violent reaction could be from Muslims. It’s absurd, he should never have been banned in the first place. . . “

Neither Robert Spencer nor the Oxford Union could be reached for comment, while the Home Office told Cherwell that since the pre-election period had started, it could not provide a comment either.

3 Responses

  1. No doubt the Oxford Union is congratulating itself for such even-handedness. Isn’t this a bit like first inviting Stalin, Pol Pot or Hitler to address the Union with blood still dripping from their hands and then, as an afterthought, extending an invitation to Churchill or Thatcher to represent the opposing view?

  2. Tony Robinson’s statement that Choudary is “honest” is dead on. The more the increasingly wary infidels hear the likes of Choudary, the better. I think every infidel on this planet should hear Choudary–not just the British.

  3. I hope it happens. I will pray that the powers that be relent, and that Mr Spencer will be granted his visa, and be able to speak at Oxford.

    Tommy Robinson has met him, and he is describing him exactly as he is. That statement by Tommy says it all, clear as day.

    Frankly, it’s not at the Oxford Union Spencer should be speaking, but **in the Parliament of Great Britain”*. In a special emergency session, with the Queen herself – and Charles too, and William – in attendance, and *all* MPs requested and required to be present, and all Peers, and the floor opened for questions afterward. The subject? The Religion of Blood and War. I would pay money to see – and hear – that. Because I have no doubt he would begin by quoting Churchill, and Gladstone.

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