UCL's shocking panel

By Stephen Pollard
February 23, 2010

So you want to set up an inquiry into how an (alleged) Islamist terrorist escaped notice at the your university. Who do you appoint to the panel?

If you're Malcolm Grant, Provost of UCL, and the subject matter is Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab's time at UCL, the answer is: the past President of the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy, an educationalist, an expert in software systems engineering, a former planning solicitor, the Director of Strategy and External Relations for the British Council and a specialist in Pigment Analysis and Ceramic Petrology.


Oh, and yes, you've also asked an expert in Islamism, if by that you mean expert practitioner: Dr Muhammad Abdul Bari, the Secretary General of the Muslim Council of Britain.

As Harry's Place puts it: 

Imagine that this was an inquiry into what caused the wannabe neo Nazi bomber, Neil Lewington, to become a terrorist. Would somebody like Nick Griffin be appointed to help the great and good explore why he did it?

Dr Abdul Bari’s career has demonstrated that he is at the very heart of a politics which is close to the extremist and terrorist political parties, Jamaat-e-Islami and Hamas/Muslim Brotherhood. For decades, he has been an office holder in institutions which have promoted a theocratic and jihadist worldview.

Now, University College London is turning to Bari, to explain why an attendee at his mosque took all that talk of political violence seriously enough to want to visit mass murder on a defenceless civilian population.

That’s the problem in a nutshell, really.

It's shocking. Truly shocking.



Jonathan Hoffman

Tue, 02/23/2010 - 15:39

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"What induced this behaviour remains a mystery. He has not emerged from a background of deprivation and poverty. He came from one of Nigeria’s wealthiest families. He was privately educated, and to a high level."

Malcolm Grant has already proved that when it comes to extremism he doesn't have a clue. There is no correlation between lack of money/education and degree of Jihadism.

Yet again the universities show that they are unwilling or unable to address the problem of extremism.


Tue, 02/23/2010 - 15:49

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I know it's ridiculous situation - a bit like the IDF investigating charges of war crimes against itself.
No independence, no accountability. . . . .

It's shocking, truly shocking.

Sharon Udasin

Tue, 02/23/2010 - 17:06

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I honestly don't think that this is very shocking, unfortunately. It seems that universities all over the world engage in extremist policies, particularly when it comes to handling Middle East-related issues. And again, quite unfortunately, these extremist policies are usually of no benefit to Jews. For example, when I was a student several years ago at Columbia Journalism School, I remember that the school used to invite pro-Palestinian writers/reporters to speak to us, and of course never counterbalanced this with a pro-Israel speaker. This was also the same year that Ahmadinejad was invited to speak on the campus.
-Sharon Udasin, staff writer at The Jewish Week in New York, sharon@sharonudasin.com


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