Alcohol ban at Aldgate University could lead to attack on Muslims, London Met Islamic groups claim

16:11 27 April 2012

Two Islamic societies at London Metropolitan University in Aldgate have demanded an apology from their vice chancellor for making “undemocratic, ill devised and misleading remarks” in support of a student drinking ban.

In a joint letter to Professor Malcolm Gillies, the Islamic Society and Shia Muslim Society said his “divisive” and “irresponsible” plan had led to student confrontations and warned it is only a matter of time before a Muslim student is physically assaulted.

It comes after Professor Gillies is reported to have told a conference last month that a high percentage of the university’s students consider drinking “immoral” and that it was a matter of “cultural sensitivity” to provide drink free areas.

Professor Gillies reportedly said: “Many of our students do come from backgrounds where they actually look on drinking as a negative. And given that around our campuses you have at least half a dozen pubs within 200 meters I can’t see there is such a pressing reason to be cross-subsidising a student activity which is essentially the selling of alcohol.”

The university has 30,000 students of which around 20 per cent are Muslim.

In their letter the university’s two Islamic groups said: “Your comments clearly showed the alcohol ban you proposed is based on gross generalisation about the views of Muslim students.

“There has never been a demand for an alcohol ban on campus from Muslim or non-Muslim students.

“We find your argument to ban alcohol on religious grounds baseless, divisive and irresponsible.

“Your stance has already had negative impacts both within the university and in the wider society. “There has already been anti-Muslim remarks appearing on various social media websites and there have been actual incidents of student confrontations, and it is only a matter of time before a Muslim student is physically assaulted.”

“Therefore we demand a retraction of your comments and an unreserved apology.”

A university spokeswoman said: “As a university with students drawn from a very wide range of cultures, ethnicities and religions, we recognise the different student experiences we need to cater for and facilitate in the wider community.

“The University has no plans for a cross-campus ban on alcohol. It is, however, in the later stages of consultation about how to provide an unlicensed venue to meet the needs identified in a recent student survey, while still affording students who wish to drink access to licensed premises.”

Latest Stories from SNAP.PA

Kendra got a hug from Jake, but the Twittersphere was unimpressed with her antics.

Read more

Their version of Sir Elton John’s Something About The Way You Look saw Only the Young voted off Saturday’s show.

Read more

Claudia Winkleman received a warm welcome and managed to hold off the tears as she returned to presenting Strictly Come Dancing.

Read more

Promotions

Gamucci is a global leader and premier brand of electronic cigarettes

Gamucci has an electronic cigarette tailored for every need! We have a range of both disposable and rechargeable electronic cigarettes suitable for all adult smokers. And for a limited time we’re offering up to 40% off.

Money saving Christmas gifts to add to your shopping list!

It’s nearly time to go on the hunt for Christmas presents, stuck on what to get for your nearest and dearest? We’ve picked out a selection of great deals to get you started and to help you save some pennies!

Protesters have been warned they are banned from setting up camp at the landmark.

John Cantlie features in the new IS video, in which he talks about a recent failed military attack.

From Britain First’s Facebook posts, you would assume they’d won the Rochester by-election. They didn’t, but they’re claiming it anyway.

At 100 years old, this was Ruby Holt’s first visit to the beach – and the first time she saw the ocean.

Quirky London