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The NUS Is 'Trying To Ban' Hope Not Hate Founder Nick Lowles For Being 'Islamophobic'

18/02/2016 15:51 | Updated 18 February 2016

Members of theNUS are attempting to no platform an anti-racism campaigner who founded Hope Not Hate because he is apparently "Islamophobic".

Nick Lowles, director of the organisation, posted a message on Facebook saying he had been targeted by the National Union of Students because he has "repeatedly spoken out against grooming and dared condemn Islamist extremism".

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In a statement, Lowles said it was suggested he speak at the NUS' anti-racism conference but there was "push back" from a few leading figures, alleging he was an “Islamophobe".

"This charge is obviously quite ridiculous. I am an independent member of the Government's Anti-Muslim hatred Working Group and over the last few years HOPE not hate, as an organisation, has worked closely with Muslim communities throughout Britain to defeat the politics of hate. Only last December, I co-authored the most comprehensive report into organised anti-Muslim hatred.

"My crime, it seems, has been to repeatedly call on the anti-racist movement to do more to condemn on-street grooming by gangs and campaigning against Islamist extremist groups in the UK and abroad.

"I make no apology for either position. We need to be consistent in our opposition to extremism - from whatever quarter it comes - just as we need to be more vocal in our condemnation of child sex grooming.

"The situation is almost amusing in its absurdity, but I want to stress that my beef is with a small group of ultra-leftists within the NUS, not NUS itself, who were, I'm led to believe, unaware of all this."

Megan Dunn, president of the NUS, told HuffPost UK: "Hope Not Hate is not on NUS’ no platform list. I would happily share a platform with anyone from Hope Not Hate tomorrow. Representatives from Hope Not Hate, including Nick Lowles, have and continue to be invited to NUS events.

"I have tried to clarify this issue with Mr Lowles but have been unable to contact him."

The NUS has a colourful history of attempting to no-platform speakers.

Most recently, gay rights campaigner Peter Tatchell was branded "transphobic" by an NUS officer, who refused to speak at an event with Tatchell.

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Nick Lowles is the director of Hope Not Hate

However when it emerged Jihadi John sympathisers were speaking on university campuses, the NUS refused to address the issue. The union also voted against condemning Isis as it would be "Islamophobic" to do so.

The union recently condemned its own president for breaking an Israel goods boycott by fraternising with Coca Cola - as the NUS says it operates factories in illegal Israeli settlements.

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