The Federation of Student Islamic Societies (FOSIS), an umbrella grouping of most major university Islamic societies in the UK, has announced its annual conference which includes at least one speaker known for his extremists statements. The FOSOS announcement describes the conference as follows:
The Federation of Student Islamic Societies, FOSIS, has held its Annual Conference (FAC) every year since June 1963, where in the Cadbury Hall, University of Birmingham, it was formally established. This platform has had the honour of hosting several keynote personalities of our time: from the highest calibre of Islamic scholarship from around the world, to erudite political leadership. Importantly conference has brought together generations of Muslim students across the UK and Ireland and helped shape and refine their minds towards community service and spiritual enlightenment. This gathering presents a unique opportunity to host the leadership of tomorrow’s Muslim community: our Islamic Societies (ISocs), who play a vital role in representing Islam in Britain and in developing the next generation.
The conference speakers list includes Saudi Arabian national Muhammad Al-Arifi who has been banned from all EU countries in the Schengen Area in connection with allegations he has made controversial statement. An Arab News report explains:
27 May 2013 Saudi Sheikh Mohammad Al-Arifi has been banned again from entering Switzerland and all European Union countries, according to a Swiss official.
Jourg Walban, Swiss Foreign Ministry spokesman, said that Swiss authorities issued a new decision that bans Al-Arifi from entering all EU states for five consecutive years.
Al-Arifi is known for his controversial statements and has a large following on Twitter and YouTube.
The decision denies Al-Arifi entry to 26 European countries included in the Schengen Agreement that allows a visa holder entry to an EU country.
The Schengen also allows the visa holder to travel to other EU member countries without restrictions. Al-Arifi was due to participate in the second annual meeting of the Swiss Islamic Council.
Last December, Switzerland issued the six-month ban. Al-Arifi had planned to attend an Islamic conference, but had been barred from entering the country following accusations that he made anti-Semitic comments and offered advice on wife beating.
Al-Arifi reportedly has about 2.2 million followers on Twitter.
His statements on Twitter have sparked controversy, including a statement he reportedly made in December in which he accused the Middle East Broadcasting Center’s children’s channel, MBC3, of promoting “atheism and corruption.”
He also once stated that a daughter should not sit alone with her father because she might tempt him into lusting after her.
In 2010, Al-Arifi made a TV appearance where he called for “Jihad” and the beating of Jews, saying “may Allah destroy them.” The Global Muslim Brotherhood Daily Watch notes that for an organization claiming to have been demonized, Al-Arifi is an interesting choice for a speaker.
Other conference speakers of interest tied to the Global Muslim Brotherhood include:
- Hany Elbanna (Muslim Charities Forum, a UK umbrella organization that unites several Hamas related charities in Britain)
- Anas Altikriti (a leader in the UK Muslim Brotherhood)
- Rachid Ghannouchi (leader of the Tunisian Muslim Brotherhood)
The Federation of Student Islamic Societies (FOSIS) is an umbrella grouping of most major university Islamic societies in the U.K. A 2008 report by the Center for Social Cohesion outlined the ties of FOSIS to the Muslim Brotherhood and concluded that ISCC’s (campus Islamic societies) and FOSIS members are more likely to hold intolerant views:
Significant minorities of Muslim students – and particularly younger ones – support violence in the name of Islam, endorse punishing Muslim apostates “in accordance with the Sharia” and believe that men and women are not equal in the eyes of Allah and should not be treated equally. Comparable minorities, around 10 percent of Muslim students, also have little or no respect for Jews, atheists or homosexuals and support Islamist proposals such as re-creating the Caliphate, introducing Sharia law to Britain and establishing an Islamic political party. Sizable numbers, between 20 and 30 percent of Muslim students, also hold intolerant attitudes towards minority forms of Islam such as Shi’ism and Sufism. The report additionally suggests that active members of Islamic Societies are more likely than other Muslim students to hold such intolerant views
Read there rest here.
In April 2013, the Telegraph reported on extremist and terrorist speakers hosted by FOSIS:
FOSIS has hosted numerous extremist and terrorist speakers at its annual conference and other events, including Azzam Tamimi, who supports suicide bombing, Haitham al-Haddad, who believes that music is a “prohibited and fake message of love and peace”, and Anwar al-Awlaki, an al-Qaeda recruiter described as a key inspiration for three of the 9/11 hijackers and numerous later attacks. Several convicted terrorists have been officers of university Islamic societies affiliated to FOSIS and have attended its events.
In May 2013, a post reported on a new study showing that a large number of events promoted by UK student Islamic societies featured individuals with a “history of extreme or intolerant views.” For the full report on the study go here.