Joint Statement Between Islamic Societies and FOSIS in Response to Islam on Campus Report sign now

As members of the Muslim student community, we, the undersigned, feel the need to express our conviction that the report published by the Centre for Social Cohesion (CSC) is ideologically biased and motivated by an underlying malaise. This report, as many others in the past, attempts to undermine the positive work and the invaluable services that we provide for all students on campus, whether this is in the form of offering spiritual and academic training for students, or providing a platform for intellectual debate and discussion.

We feel this report is irresponsible in its attempt to scaremonger and vilify the Islamic Societies (Isocs) and contributes to the perpetuation of a climate of Islamophobia, which, unfortunately, is increasing at an alarming rate on campus. As such the report becomes yet one more way in which Muslim students are alienated and seen as the problem rather than empowered to be agents for positive change.

Furthermore, the suggestion that extremist activity is taking place on campus is unqualified and irresponsible, and damages the strong relationships forged between Isocs and their respective universities. We therefore hold that by making such assertions without due evidence, the validity of the conclusions of the report are brought into serious question.
We would also like to draw attention to the fact that following the dreadful events of 7/7 the Muslim student population has suffered considerable difficulties. Despite these though they have shown great resilience and a continuing desire to contribute positively to University life and wider society. The reports effect is to criminalise the Muslim students premised on a false assumption that they are particularly vulnerable to radicalisation. We would like to counter this assertion by insisting that there is no evidence to suggest that university campuses are hotbeds for extremist activity or recruitment. Although we firmly believe that there is no evidence to support this claim, we are not at the same time complacent with regards to the possibility of this, and so we have safeguards in place to ensure such does not occur. We do not, however, require reports like Islam on Campus to dictate to us how we ought to counter such possibilities, especially when the report is steeped in bias and clearly aiming to create a moral panic.

We call upon the continuing support of Universities, other student bodies and fair minded individuals to help us oppose such counterproductive efforts by vested interests. We would like to send a strong message of defiance to such vested interests and mischievous efforts which undermine cohesion.



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Harriett RileyBy:
International PolicyIn:
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The Centre for Social Cohesion

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