Islamic studies departments at British universities may be fuelling extremism among students
In a major review of the way Islam is taught on campuses, ministers will today call for courses to be improved to stop students being exposed to teaching that condones terrorism.
The report will also suggest that a network of Muslim faith advisers should be created to give impressionable youngsters spiritual guidance - and stop them falling under the influence of radicals. The move comes amid growing fears that universities and colleges are being infiltrated by fanatics recruiting for jihad.
Sheikh Musa Admani, the Muslim chaplain at London Metropolitan University and an adviser to Bill Rammell, the higher education minister, said he was aware of at least four universities in which students had been "groomed" by extremists.
Other experts suggest the number is as high as 25. Some students had gone to Iraq and Afghanistan to fight, it is claimed.
Ataullah Siddiqui, director of the Markfield Institute of Higher Education, a research body, was asked to review the standards of Islamic studies courses as well as the quality of religious teaching from student Islamic societies and chaplains. Today's report is expected to criticise courses for failing to present Islam as a faith that can co-exist with other religions.
Mr Rammell admitted some students were being "exposed to teachings that either explicitly condone terrorism or foster a climate of opinion that is at least sympathetic to terrorists' motivation".
Universities UK, which represents vice-chancellors, said it would be for the "relevant academic community" to debate any future changes to Islamic studies teaching.
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