Was this an overzealous member of staff, or a genuine flaw in the government’s new anti-radicalisation policy? Either way it is a ridiculous situation.
A postgraduate student working towards a masters in terrorism, crime and global security, was apprehended by his own university’s staff and questioned for raising “too many red flags”.
The red flags raised by Mohammed Umar Farooq related to the fact he was reading a textbook called ‘Terrorism Studies’ in the University library.
For his attempted study Farooq was quizzed on his opinions on al-Qaida, Islamic State, and the brutal caliphate’s treatment of homosexuals back in March of this year.
Initially Farooq thought the questioning to be a joke but it was in fact the the complaints officer at the Stoke based university interrogating him.
The student has challenged accusations with the help of a lawyer to ensure his name is clear and will not be affected in the future.
Staffordshire University has since apologised to the 33-year-old and are hoping he will opt to reconvene his learning at the institution.
A spokesperson at the uni has remarked that the unfortunate event exposed the issues with implementing government policy into practical application. They did also concede that the officer who spoke to Farooq had only received a few hours of training back in 2013.
Noel Morrison, academic registrar and director of student experience at Staffordshire University, said:
“We are very sorry that a misjudged situation has impacted on this student.
We do, however, have the right policies and procedures in place and are confident that the situation was investigated and concluded appropriately.
We have apologised to Mr Farooq and are in dialogue with him on how we can support him to continue his studies with us. In light of recent legislation, we are ensuring all staff at the university have the right guidance and training.”
So a quick recap; university offers counter-terrorism course with relevant terrorism related text books available in library. University then persecutes student on that course for reading said book. Smooth.
An NCTJ Journalist with an MA in Sports Journalism, Kieron is an experienced social media journalist who has worked in the industry since 2015. His experience includes work with ITN, the MEN, WISH/WIRE/TOWER FM, and 8:50 Sports Digest… not forgetting his time at ASDA.