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University campuses are not "hotbeds of radicalisation"

University campuses are not "hotbeds of radicalisation"

Categories: Latest News

Tuesday May 31 2011

The Daily Telegraph on Saturday published an article in which the chief executive of Universities UK, Nicola Dandridge, dismissed claims that universities are sites of radicalization or that the presence of offensive speakers at campus events engendered attitudes of a violent extremist nature among student populations.

Ms Dandridge told the Daily Telegraph:

“You cannot draw the conclusion that because wild things are said at university that automatically equates to radicalisation,”

“We have to be really careful about what we are saying about cause and effect.”

She added: “I don’t think there has been any evidence suggesting that speakers who are offensive to many people cause violent extremism in the student audience. There is no evidence of that.”

Ms Dandridge goes on to endorse the conclusions of the Universities UK report, on universities being a forum for rigorous debate policed not by standards of taste but by legislation, including incitement to racial and religious hatred.

Her comments underscore the results of an earlier study by Dr June Edmunds and the Caldicott Inquiry into the radicalization of Umar Farouk Abdulmuttalab.

This research and empirical evidence notwithstanding, there are still those that insist on a causal relationship. James Brandon of the government-funded Quilliam Foundation is quoted in the DT article and there is also the report produced by the APPG Homeland Security which relies upon the oral evidence of Professor Anthony Glees to assert that “The Government must finally tackle the serious problem of radicalization on university campuses with utmost urgency.”

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