Q&A: Campus extremism

A new-guidance has been released by the Department for Innovation, Universities and Skills on targeting extremism. It suggested universities with large numbers of Muslim students should try to avoid creating religious segregation on campus by rejecting demands for separate prayer-facilities.

Is this new guidance?
It updates guidance issued by the government in 2006, after the prime minister called for a new debate among universities last November about how to reconcile academic freedom with combating the threat of terrorism.

Background to the guidance?
Shortly after the London bombings on July 7, 2005, higher education minister Bill Rammell told vice-chancellors they would have to root out extremism in Britain by tackling the influence of Islamist groups on campus justifying terrorism.

Is there evidence to suggest terrorism goes on in universities?
Research published by the director of Brunel University's centre for intelligence and security studies, Prof Anthony Glees, in 2005 suggested that extremist or terrorist groups existed at more than 30 institutions, including high profile universities.

What's the legal situation?
The 2006 Terrorism Act came into force in April of that year, updating the 2000 Act. It made it illegal to: publish statements encouraging terrorism; disseminate publications.

Via Guardian-Unlimited

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