Thursday, January 28, 2010

West-Australian-based Controversial cleric Yahya Ibrahim to tour UK universities

From The Telegraph, 23 Jan 2010, by Patrick Sawer and Philip Sherwell in New York:

Update, 14 December 2011: JIW NOTES THAT IT IS NOT AWARE OF ANY REASON TO INFER THAT THE PERSON NAMED YAHAYA IBRAHIM WHO IS THE EDITOR OF THE Al-Qaeda publication: INSPIRE MAGAZINE IS THE SAME PERSON AS THE PERSON WITH THAT NAME, WHO IS VISITING CHAPLAIN OF CURTIN UNIVERSITY IN WESTERN AUSTRALIA.

POST SCRIPT (8 December 2011): Please note that the Telegraph has publicly accepted that describing Yahya Ibrahim, Islamic chaplain at Curtin University in Perth, Australia, as a "hardline Islamist with anti-Semitic views who had advocated violence and conflict ...was an incorrect attribution". It has removed the original article, dated January 23, 2010, from their web site, apologized to Mr Ibrahim and agreed a settlement with him. See the comment from Mr Ibrahim below. The first portion of this posting, which is an excerpt from the Telegraph article, remains on JIW for historical interest.



Yahya Ibrahim, who has described Jews as "monkeys and pigs" and is accused of advocating conflict with the West, is due to speak at the University of Wales Institute, Cardiff (UWIC), next month and at Birmingham University in March.

He is one of at least five extreme Islamists who have been allowed to enter the UK in recent years despite being banned by countries such as the United States or Australia.

They include a Jamaican-born Muslim preacher who the US claims is linked to the group behind the 1993 World Trade Centre bombing, and a former Pakistani senator who has praised the Taliban.

The revelations come amid continuing fears over the influence of Islamist extremists on young Muslims in Britain in the wake of the failed Detroit bomb plot, over which Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, a former student at University College London, has been charged.

The governing body for British universities, Universities UK, has launched a review of the activities of violent extremists on campuses, following revelations by The Sunday Telegraph over the activities of a number of 'preachers of hate' in the UK and their suspected influence on Abdulmutallab's radicalisation.

The Government will face further questions as this newspaper today identifies five foreign radical Islamists who have been allowed in to Britain in the past four years, despite being banned from entering other countries.

These are
  • Mr [Yahya] Ibrahim,
  • Abu Ameenah Bilal Philips,
  • Abdul Rahman Al-Sudais,
  • Tariq Suweidan, and
  • Sheikh Qazi Hussain Ahmed.
Mr Ibrahim, a Canadian citizen who works as an academic in Perth, Australia, was barred from entering the US in 2005 while travelling to Texas to deliver a lecture entitled Muslims Beware of Extremism. [see extract from the Houston Chronicle and MilitantIslamMonitors.org below]

He has preached in Mecca that Jews were "monkeys and pigs", "rats of the world" and the "offspring of apes and pigs"; that Christians were "cross worshippers ... those influenced by the rottenness of their ideas and the poison of their cultures, the followers of secularism"; and that Hindus were "idol worshippers".

He has also claimed that Aids is a punishment from Allah.

...David Ouellette, a Canadian commentator who has studied Ibrahim's lectures and speeches, said: "In Australia, Ibrahim is widely considered as a 'bridge builder' between Muslims and non-Muslims....Yet publicly-available information on Ibrahim appears to point to the profile of a hard-core activist of the Wahhabi strain working to spread in the West the hateful, terror-inspiring Salafi ideology, the likes of whom should not be welcome in free societies fighting Islamic extremism."

Last August Mr Ibrahim spoke at a conference organised by the Green Lane Mosque in Birmingham – one of 10 in the city which benefit from funding as part of the Government's Prevent strategy to stop the spread of extremism.

The same month he was also invited to lead prayers at the East London Mosque, in Whitechapel, and spoke to audiences in Banbury, Oxfordshire, and Blackburn, Lancashire

In February last year the Federation of Student Islamic Societies organised a speaking tour for Ibrahim around British universities, including Birmingham, Warwick, and two London colleges, Goldsmiths and Queen Mary.

Birmingham University was embroiled in controversy when it refused, on freedom of speech grounds, to ban an appearance by Azzam Tamimi, a radical Islamist and Hamas supporter, at a seminar organised by the university's Islamic Society last Wednesday.

Denis MacShane, a former Minister for Europe, had urged the university's vice chancellor, Professor David Eastwood, to cancel the meeting.

In a letter to Prof Eastwood he described Mr Tamimi as a "notorious Jew-hater and supporter of terrorist attacks on Jewish women and children in Israel", accusing him of "glorifying Jihad and the killing of those opposed to his fanatical Islamist world view".

A spokesman for Birmingham University said of the latest invitation: "We have a policy of freedom of speech within the law and we are considering a request by the university Islamic society for Mr Ibrahim to be allowed to speak here. No decision has yet been made.

...Rob Cummings, UWIC's Dean of Students, said last night: "...The event is currently being assessed in accordance with our Freedom of Speech policy and during this process we will be liaising with the organisers and taking advice from relevant advisory bodies."

He said that the names of the proposed speakers were made available to UWIC on Thursday, and that process of assessing the event would be completed by the end of this week.

Also among the Green Lane speakers last year was Mr Al-Sudais, an imam at the Grand Mosque in Mecca, who, despite denouncing terrorism, has described Jews as "the scum of the human race" and "monkeys and pigs and worshippers of false gods".

Mr Al-Sudais was banned from entering Canada in 2004 and has been barred from attending conferences in the US.

The pair were joined at the Green Lane event by Mr Philips, a Jamaican-born Canadian citizen who has said that Islam condones marital rape, believes Aids is "divine retribution" on gays and has said that "Western culture led by the United States is an enemy of Islam".

Mr Philips was also invited to speak at the annual dinner of the Islamic student society at Queen Mary last March, where he was praised for his "deep study and understanding of Islam".

Yet he was deported from the US in 2004 and refused entry into Australia in 2007 after the American government linked him to the 1993 World Trade Centre bombing in New York, which killed six and injured 1,000.

No attempt has been made by the US to have him extradited from Canada.

Sheikh Qazi Hussain Ahmed, 71, is a senior figure in the Jamaat-e-Islami fundamentalist party in Pakistan and a former senator in that country, who has praised the Taliban as "just and honourable men who brought peace to Afghanistan".

He was denied entry into Belgium and the Netherlands in 2004 after being classed a security risk, but travelled to London in 2006 to attend the two-day Islam Expo conference.

Mr Suweidan, a Kuwaiti-born radical, told a meeting in Chicago in 2000: “Palestine will not be liberated but through Jihad. Nothing can be achieved without sacrificing blood. The Jews will meet their end at our hands.”

He was subsequently banned from the US. Despite this he was invited by the Home Office to take part in a UK roadshow against extremism in 2006.

Critics have called on the Government to take a tougher line on barring extremists from Britain.

Alexander Meleagrou-Hitchens, research fellow at the Centre for Social Cohesion, said: "In the UK, both national security and community cohesion are greatly damaged when extremists come into the country and are allowed to be presented by their supporters as moderate voices of the mainstream.

...Paul Goodman, shadow communities minister, said: "Ministers have a duty to apply exclusion criteria consistently. There must be zero tolerance for racism, extremism and anti-semitism."...

Also, from the MilitantIslamMonitors.org, Dec. 23, 2005, by EDWARD HEGSTROM [originally published by the Houston Chronicle]:

A Canadian Islamic teacher ...barred entry to the United States.

Yahya Ibrahim arrived at the Detroit airport Monday, where an immigration inspector denied him entry. Ibrahim ...was traveling from Australia...

He was scheduled to speak at the Texas Dawah Convention, an annual event for Muslims expected to attract 4,000 participants from across the country. The government confirmed that Ibrahim was denied entry, but refused to say why.

...Ibrahim was born in Canada and holds an engineering degree, Dasyouni said. He lives in Australia, where he is an administrator at the Australian Islamic University in Perth, according to the conference Web site. He has lectured at universities worldwide and spoke at the conference here last year.

...The conference has faced controversy before. In 2003, critics raised questions about two of the scheduled speakers, including Sheikh Salah Munajiid, who had a Web site in which he described Jews as "plotters, conspirators and traitors." His speech was canceled.

MilitantIslamMonitors.org continues: ...The list of the Da'wa conference attendees in the previous year, which included Ibrahim read like a Who's Who of radical Islamists. The only ones missing from the list are Osama Bin Laden and Al Zarqawi, and it is surprising that the conference had no video link up to accomodate them. Ibrahim's biography also informs us that he is a "consulting editor for the IFTA department of the Saudi Embassy in Washington DC'. IFTA is the Wahhabist version of the Nazi "Ministry of Propaganda and National Enlightment'.

A look at the website of Ibrahim's Islamic Invitation Centre - which includes his translations of the 'work' of Saudi Sheik Abdurahman Al Sudais, who went on Saudi television and exhorted Muslims to kill "Jews and worshippers of the Cross". Ibrahim himself lectured on". How kuffars tried to take the light out of Islam".

From the Islamic Invitation Centre website:

 ...Of Egyptian descent, Yahya Adel Ibrahim, was born in Waterloo ...Being proficient in Arabic and English, he has translated books and various works from Arabic to English and reviewed numerous articles, and the collection of Sermons that are/were delivered from the pulpit of Mecca's Grand Mosque.  ...Yahya is a regular lecturer to Muslim and non-Muslim audiences throughout the world. Currently based in Perth, Western Australia where he works as a religious advisor and senior staff member of the largest Islamic school in Australia (http://www.aic.wa.edu.au/) .

Available talks:
Hijab
Role of Prophet Jesus in Islam
The way to Salvation
Islam a whole way of life
How the kuffar try to put out the Light of Islam
Paradise is our reward
Principles of the Quran
The True Meaning Of Worship
Trials and Tribulations
Life in the Grave
Rewards of Women in Paradise
Prophet Jesus Was Saved by Allah From the Cross ...
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