London: British officials have reportedly identified 40 universities in the country where ‘there might be a particular risk of radicalisation or recruitment on campus’.
The universities have been named in the Whitehall report, which is poised to be released soon.
The Daily Mail quoted the ‘Prevent review’ as saying that more than 30 percent of people convicted for al Qaeda-associated terrorist offences in the UK . . . are known to have ‘attended university or a higher education institution’.
“Another 15 percent studied or achieved a vocational or further education qualification. About 10 percent of the sample were students at the time when they were charged or the incident for which they were convicted took place,” it added.
The report, prepared by Home Office officials, have warned that hardline Islamic groups are specifically targeting universities that have large numbers of Muslim students to spread hate messages.
It also said that the universities are not doing enough to respond to this threat to national security.
Meanwhile, Britain`s Home Secretary has accused universities of complacency in tackling Islamic extremism and radicalisation on campus.
Theresa May says universities have not been taking the issue of radicalisation seriously, unwilling to recognise that extremists can form groups on campus "without anyone knowing”.
She told Britain`s Daily Telegraph newspaper on Monday that universities can do more to combat extremism and need to be prepared to "send very clear messages" and "ask themselves some questions about what happens on their campuses”.
It was reported yesterday that the government has decided to unveil a strict strategy to tackle Islamist extremism after Prime Minister David Cameron managed to win over a long cabinet debate over multiculturalism.
Cameron had reportedly quashed Liberal Democrat leader Nick Clegg`s argument for a more tolerant attitude to Muslim groups by insisting that violent extremism develops within the ideology of non-violent extremism.
The Prevent review has been delayed for five months because of disagreements within the coalition cabinet.