Islam on Campus: letters from the Sunday Times

The Islam on Campus report and the way it was promoted by the Centre for Social Cohesion (CSC) has been criticised by universities, students and academics (Muslim students back Islamic killings, News, last week). The 120-page report concludes that “British Muslim students hold a diverse and broad range of opinions. The majority of Muslim students have tolerant ideas towards other minorities, reject violence in the name of their faith and support Britain’s secular and democratic society as well as its system of governance”.

The University and College Union (UCU), like the majority of people, takes the threat of terrorism seriously. We welcome the recent emphasis the government has put on community cohesion in regards to tackling violent extremism, but we reject the headline-grabbing tactics of groups such as CSC.

Sally Hunt, UCU general secretary

I am a lecturer in history at Queen Mary University of London, born, raised and educated in Israel. I teach the history of medieval Islam (society, culture and politics) to Muslim and non-Muslim students alike. The students contribute to debate about Islam from their diverse backgrounds and perspectives. The article published last week bears no similarity to my own experience at Queen Mary; it disparages the intellectual integrity of the young men and women who study with me and can only make open discussion more difficult.

Yossi Rapoport, Department of History, Queen Mary University

Sunday Times, 3 August 2008