In “Thin Red Line: Terrorism in the Ivory Tower,” I argued that Islamic extremism is a threat on many campuses worldwide and in favor of “the creation of a higher education culture of security.” The leading proponent of this view is Anthony Glees, director of the UK’s Brunel Center for Intelligence and Security Studies, who writes most recently in The Wall Street Journal:
At least 13 convicted Islamist terrorists and four suicide bombers have been students at British universities. Radical Islamist student societies make full use of university resources. They operate Web sites, hosted by university servers, which direct visitors to organizations that glorify jihad and terror. These “religious” groups are given “prayer rooms” on campus, which are also used to disseminate extremist literature and DVDs. Muslim students concerned about these developments tell me that at many of these Islamic societies terrorism is portrayed as justified acts of “resistance.” A leading imam in Birmingham often preaches on British campuses that the London bombers have to be seen as “martyrs.”
Organizations like Hizb Ut Tahrir and Al Muhajiroun, which advocate a world caliphate, demand that Britain adopt the Shariah and express a violent hatred for the West and Jews, have repeatedly tried to gain student converts at the University of East Anglia…[T]he head of an Islamic student society and several fellow students at London Metropolitan were charged with planning to smuggle explosives on a plane bound for America. Yet university authorities usually consider these societies as “religious gatherings,” and thus off limits.
In addition, Glees cites numerous efforts by academics and university administrators to thwart the government’s proposals to monitor more carefully and report signs of extremism to the security agencies – which one academic rejected as having “an overtly security-research agenda” based on the wrong notion that there is a “link between Islamism, radicalization and terrorism.”
We’ll simply have to take steps to preserve ourselves from Western academics who look down their noses at security and who are too dim to see the link between Islamism and terrorism.
It is long overdue for British and universities elsewhere to, in Glees’s phrase, “get real.”