Michael Fabricant raised the problem of attacks by extreme Islamic
students on British Jewish students studying at Higher Educational
establishments in the UK in the House of Commons last week.
The text of the brief debate is shown below. Below that are further
comments from Michael.
Michael Fabricant (Lichfield) (Con): What assessment he has made of
the number of racist incidents among students in higher education; and
if he will make a statement.
The Minister for Higher Education and Lifelong Learning (Bill Rammell):
We do not make this assessment centrally. We have, however, established
robust legal protection against racism and as a result individual
universities should have clearly identified procedures in place for
dealing with racist incidents. The Race Relations (Amendment) Act 2000
places a general duty on university governing bodies to promote race
equality in their institutions.
Michael Fabricant: The Minister has, I know, read the report of the
all-party parliamentary inquiry into anti-Semitism, which talks about
systematic racism in our universities. It gives examples of a brick
being thrown through the window of a Jewish student and a poster bearing
the words "Slaughter the Jews" pasted on a Jewish student’s front door.
This is being perpetrated by some extreme Islamic student groups. The
report’s main conclusion is that the response of vice-chancellors is at
best patchy. What can the Government do to try to ensure that there is a
consistent approach to combating anti-Semitism and all racism in all of
Bill Rammell: I am aware of the report; I gave evidence to the inquiry.
I know that the hon. Gentleman has taken a great interest in these
issues. I urge all vice-chancellors to take anti-Semitism and all forms
of racism very seriously. The Government have placed strong legal
obligations on all public bodies to tackle racism. The work that the
equality challenge unit is doing with universities is the best way to
spread good practice and tackle the issue.
David Lepper (Brighton, Pavilion) (Lab/Co-op): I welcome my hon.
Friend’s comments. Does he agree, however, that one of the issues, as I
have learned from speaking to students, is a reluctance on the part of
some students to report incidents in the first place because they are
not convinced that they will be dealt with properly by university
Bill Rammell: I certainly hope that my hon. Friend’s concerns are
misplaced. We have to create a climate of confidence, and the report by
the all-party inquiry makes an important contribution. It is important
that the Government take the lead and make it clear that we expect
universities to take these issues very seriously.
Michael Fabricant now says: "Britain is a tolerant country and we have
long accepted economic migrants and refugees into our community to the
benefit of us all. But it ill behoves some groups who argue for one law
for themselves and another for the rest of us. Extreme Islamic groups
practising anti Judao-Christian acts in the United Kingdom either by
preaching violence or committing actual violence against Jewish and
Christian students cannot be tolerated any longer. Political
correctness and fear of the accusation of being anti Islamist may have
deterred some authorities from dealing firmly with this matter up until
"This has to stop. There is no room for racism of any kind in this
country whether it be practised by groups like the BNP or by elements of
a minority ethnic community. Both are equally unacceptable. And anyone
suffering such attacks must report them to the police or university