Muslim chaplains to 'challenge campus extremism’

Universities are to work with the government to appoint Muslim chaplains to “challenge extremist views” on campus.

December 8, 2013

Islam Muslim

The measures are outlined in a new report from a government task force on tackling radicalisation and extremism, released on 4 December.

It warns that some universities are now an “environment conducive to radicalisation”, as are some mosques, Islamic centres and prisons.

“Extremist preachers use some higher education institutions as a platform for spreading their messages,” it says. “Universities must take seriously their responsibility to deny extremist speakers a platform.”

“This is not about the government restricting freedom of speech – it is about universities taking account of the interests of all their students and their own reputations when deciding who they allow to use their institution as a platform,” it continues.

The task force will work with universities and student bodies to recruit Muslim chaplains who can challenge extreme beliefs, it says, and also provide pastoral care to Muslim students.

“Although some universities have Muslim chaplains, they are not as widespread as Christian chaplains,” it says.

David Willetts, the universities and science minister, met university representatives last month and “set out clearly the government’s expectation for universities to take steps to prevent them being a permissive environment for extremism” it adds.

The task force was set up after the killing of soldier Lee Rigby in Woolwich in May this year.

On 22 November, Universities UK released new guidance on how to handle external speakers on campus, and what to do if it is feared they could have extreme views.

david.matthews@tsleducation.com

You've reached your article limit

Register to continue

Registration is free and only takes a moment. Once registered you can read a total of 6 articles each month, plus:

  • Sign up for the editor's highlights
  • Receive World University Rankings news first
  • Get job alerts, shortlist jobs and save job searches
  • Participate in reader discussions and post comments
Register

Have your say

Log in or register to post comments

Featured Jobs

Most Commented

United Nations peace keeper

Understanding the unwritten rules of graduate study is vital if you want to get the most from your PhD supervision, say Kevin O'Gorman and Robert MacIntosh

David Parkins Christmas illustration (22 December 2016)

A Dickensian tale, set in today’s university

Eleanor Shakespeare illustration (5 January 2017)

Fixing problems in the academic job market by reducing the number of PhDs would homogenise the sector, argues Tom Cutterham

Houses of Parliament, Westminster, government

There really is no need for the Higher Education and Research Bill, says Anne Sheppard

British dean of US business school also questions the ‘strange’ trend of increasing regulation while reducing state funding in the UK sector