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November 17, 2006
University guideline discriminate against Muslims, says The Muslim News
The Muslim News Friday accused the British Government of discriminating against Muslim students by issuing new guidelines to universities to target “violent extremism in the name of Islam.”
“It is of grave concern that the Government has issued guidelines for universities to target Muslim students and organizations as such measures amount to a discredited McCarthy witch hunt on campuses,” Muslim News editor Ahmed J Versi said.
“It is discriminatory as the guidelines only targets Muslim students and does not talk about other faith communities. The Government knows fully well that there are no laws against religious discrimination and so can get away with its targeting of Muslims,” Versi said.
Higher Education Minister, Bill Rammell, issued the guidance for university staff that provides recognition “violent extremism in the name of Islam is a real, credible and sustained threat to the UK," but he denied that the Government was singling out Muslims.
Versi said that Muslim students will not be able to vent their opposition on issues, while seeing their colleagues from other faith groups being allowed to do so. “Jewish students will be allowed to debate support for Israel, but Muslims will not be able to speak out against the Israeli atrocities and in support of the occupied and impoverished Palestinians,” he said.
“As far as Muslims are concerned, they will see that freedom of expression has been stifled. The definition of extremism is so wide that Muslim students will be afraid to hold debates on everyday issues,” he said.
The National Union of Students also expressed fears Friday that by focusing solely on extremism “in the name of Islam” that there is the “potential for a racist or Islamophobic backlash against sections of the student community.” Universities UK also reminded the Government about its warning last year against singling out Muslims, saying that campuses are some of the most diverse communities in the UK and was focusing on “all kinds of extremism...”
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