It is undeniable that the the jihad has nothing to do with poverty and lack of job opportunities, and everything to do with Islam feeling uppity at the present time, that this is their moment. That is why any focus on confronting the jihad through “community building” is destined for failure. Just saying. KGS
Universities: The breeding grounds of terror
The evidence that British student campuses have become hotbeds of Islamist radicalisation is overwhelming, says Anthony Glees. It is time to get tough on those who refuse to believe it.
Theresa May’s message to our vice-chancellors, in her comments to this newspaper yesterday, was crystal clear: it’s time for them – at long, long last – to get a grip on student extremism. The shameful record of complacency towards Islamist radicalisation on Britain’s campuses will no longer wash. But are our universities listening, let alone getting ready to act? I fear not.
For one thing, politicians have said this before. In his first major speech on security and radicalisation, in February this year, David Cameron underscored the dismal truth that many of those found guilty of terrorist offences have been British graduates. “We must stop extremists recruiting in publicly funded institutions like universities,” he said. Two months ago, he made the same point, when he said that not enough was being done to “deradicalise” our universities.
In the same month, Baroness Neville-Jones, the recently departed security minister, said much the same thing. Britain, she confirmed, still faces a serious security threat from Islamist radicalisation – and universities are one of the main recruiting grounds. In fact, she said, they are a greater source of danger than radical mosques.
So here are the Prime Minister, the Home Secretary and the then security minister all speaking with one voice – along with the previous government, and indeed the widely respected all-party Homeland Security Group. But there are none so deaf as those who refuse to hear. Just a few days ago, Nicola Dandridge, the head of Universities UK, told The Daily Telegraph that there was “no evidence” to link student radicals with violent extremism. She even claims that MI5 and the police back up her assertions.
No evidence? Within a couple of years of leaving Leeds Metropolitan University, Mohammad Sidique Khan, the leader of the group responsible for the July 7 bombings, began training for terror. Since then, virtually every major British terrorist attack has been led by students or graduates. The list of universities they came from makes horrifying reading: Leicester, Luton, Brighton, Glasgow Metropolitan, UCL, the LSE, the University of Westminster, Brunel and others.