Moazzam Begg, Outreach Director of controversial group CAGE, refused to condemn the practice of stoning women to death for adultery at a student debate.
Mr Begg, a former Guantanamo Bay detainee, was on a panel at the University of Exeter speaking as part of the National Union of Students’ “Students not Suspects” tour.
When asked about comments by his colleague Asim Qureshi, who refused to condemn stoning adulterous women, Mr Begg himself refused to condemn the practice.
A video of the event, posted online by anti-extremism group Student Rights, shows Mr Begg prevaricating on the issue.
“As for my position, I’m very clear,” he says. “I don’t know anybody who has been stoned to death in the UK, I don’t know anybody who has been tried as an adulteress in the UK, I don’t know anybody who is applying those rules in the UK.”
Students Rights say that after the even, a student pressed Mr Begg for an answer but he still refused to condemn stoning adulteresses to death.
Last year, senior CAGE member Asim Qureshi refused to condemn the practice of stoning women to death for adultery in a BBC interview. When asked by presenter Andrew Neil about the views of a Muslim scholar he had described as a mentor, Mr Qureshi refused to say that stoning women was wrong, nor did he disagree that Jews are descended from pigs.
When pushed for an answer, he responded: “I am not a theologian,” before later adding: “I have no idea what you are talking about”.
He also explained: “As far as I am concerned, Sharia law isn’t practised correctly anywhere in the world.
“Jihad is part of the religion of Islam.”
CAGE became notorious last year after Mr Qureshi described Islamic State executioner Mohammed Emwazi, also known as ‘Jihadi John’, as “beautiful” and “extremely kind, extremely gentle …. and the most humble young person that I ever knew.”
He blamed a “culture of abuse” by the British secret services for making Jihadi John join Islamic State, where he murdered at least five Western hostages.