Revolutionary affairs

August 25, 2006

Obviously Hizb ut-Tahrir will aim to recruit at freshers' fairs ("Extremist groups set to recruit freshers" August 18): that's what these events are for.

Like hundreds of other eager first-years at Leeds University in 1968, I was delighted to encounter the stalls where varieties of revolutionaries set out their wares. There are said to be more than 1,000 suspected Islamic terrorists in the UK today. In the 1970s, thousands of us were in groups that supported the IRA and the Palestine Liberation Organisation and so on, but only a few went on to insurrectionary violence.

As Chaminda Jayanetti points out (Opinion, August 18), Hizb ut-Tahrir is not a terrorist group. Its homophobic, anti-democratic, elitist, feudal and anti-Darwinian ideology must be argued against, applying equal opportunity policy where necessary. But Al Ghurabaa, which is openly anti-Semitic and supportive of suicide bombing, will be much less visible. Universities should deny this group a voice by applying anti-incitement legislation.

Universities must remain places where ideas that the majority find unpalatable are openly debated.

Max Farrar. Leeds Metropolitan University

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