Azzam Tamimi hit by student backlash

A Christian group has withdrawn an invitation to Palestinian academic Azzam Tamimi following complaints from the European Union of Jewish Students.

Dr Tamimi, director of the Institute of Islamic Political Thought in London, had been due to speak at a World Student Christian Federation interfaith conference in Berlin next week.

But the federation withdrew its invitation after the EUJS highlighted his track record of inflammatory speeches to students.

The Crown Prosecution Service is currently considering whether to press charges against Dr Tamimi for comments he made at a lecture at SOAS in February. Dr Tamimi had said he "longs to be a martyr" and that "Israel must come to an end".

Benjamin Zagzag, EUJS president, said: "This is a victory not only for us, but for moderate and legitimate debates everywhere, and a substantial step forward for the values that are at the core of inter-religious dialogue."

The World Student Christian Federation said: "Dr Tamimi was appointed as a speaker by our partner organisation. We usually consult our interfaith partners when looking for experts on interreligious issues. We realised that the profile of Dr Tamimi was not exactly what we were looking for in this lecture."

    Last updated: 1:27pm, April 8 2010