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Hamza Andreas Tzortzis is a British public speaker and researcher[1] on Islam. A British Muslim convert of Greek heritage, he was at one time associated with extreme positions and extremists.[2][3] Tzortzis has tried to distance himself from allegations of extremism, and now says he preaches about peace and compassion.[4]

Contents

Career

Tzortzis has been invited as a guest speaker at several universities and Muslim conferences.[2][4] He has spoken in the United Kingdom [2] and Australia.[4] Tzortzis was involved in publishing a survey study in 2010 to gauge non-Muslims' views of Islam in the United Kingdom.[1] In 2015 he was a finalist for Religious Advocate of the Year at the British Muslim Awards.[5] Tzortzis has contributed to the BBC news programs: The Big Questions [6] and Newsnight.[7]

Controversy

The Telegraph described Tzortzis in 2010 as "a former researcher for the hardline Hittin Institute and chaired the launch event of iERA, an umbrella organisation hosting many well-known British Muslim extremists who preach opposition to democracy and hatred against homosexuals and Jews."[2] Tzortzis calls this misrepresentations and lies.[8] Noting that Keele University had cancelled a speech by Tzortzis, the Stoke Sentinel called him a "radical Islamic speaker ... a former member of the radical group Hizb ut-Tahrir which believes in the idea of an Islamic state ... who supports Sharia law ... [and has] also been linked to controversial comments on homosexuality and a series of other issues."[9] Tzortzis said in a 2016 interview that, whilst he still sees homosexuality as "sinful" in the eyes of God, he now condemns any violence towards the homosexual community.[8] According to Metro, Tzortzis has "claimed that those who leave the Islamic faith ‘should be killed.'"[10] He has since stated that he no longer believes in apostasy laws, which he calls "outdated".[8] Tzortzis also now criticises child marriage, opposes extremism, denounces the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIS), and tries to present a peaceful case for Islam.[4] Despite trying to distance himself from what observes call his extremism, in 2016 India's National Investigation Agency (NIA), in a chargesheet against the Islamic State, named Tzortzis as having directly or indirectly influenced suspects accused of having links with ISIS.[8] Tzortzis says that he has influenced Muslims of all persuasions and cannot be blamed for extremists latching onto his words.[8]

Publications

  • The Divine Reality: God, Islam and the Mirage of Atheism, FB Publishing, 2016 | ISBN 978-0-9965453-9-6
  • Embryology in the Qur’an | iERA Research

References

  1. ^ a b Haroon Siddique. "Three-quarters of non-Muslims believe Islam negative for Britain". The Guardian, 2 August 2016. Retrieved 9 August 2016.
  2. ^ a b c d Andrew Gilligan. "Speaker with extremist links to address Detroit bomber's former student group". The Telegraph, 18 January 2010. Retrieved 8 May 2016.[unreliable source?]
  3. ^ Zeyno Baran with Emmet Tuohy (2011). Citizen Islam: The Future of Muslim Integration in the West. Continuum Publishing Group. p. 127. Retrieved 28 June 2016.CS1 maint: uses authors parameter (link)
  4. ^ a b c d Rohan Smith. "So-called radical aiming to speak at Australian Muslim conference declares: 'I'm a peaceful hippie'". news.com.au, 17 February 2016. Retrieved 8 August 2016.
  5. ^ "British Muslim Awards 2015 finalists unveiled". Asian Image, 23 January 2015. Retrieved 10 May 2016. Italic or bold markup not allowed in: |publisher= (help)
  6. ^ "BBC One - The Big Questions, Series 8, Episode 2 - Credits". BBC. Retrieved 28 December 2016. Italic or bold markup not allowed in: |publisher= (help)
  7. ^ "Is clash between Islam and the West inevitable?". BBC. Retrieved 28 December 2016. Italic or bold markup not allowed in: |publisher= (help)
  8. ^ a b c d e Ayaz Farooqui. "ISIS are spiritually diseased, sick people: Hamza Tzortzis, UK preacher named in NIA charges". ABP News, 12 August 2016. Retrieved 28 December 2016.
  9. ^ Kathie McInnes. "Keele University cancels visit from radical Islamic speaker Hamza Tzortzis". The Sentinel, 1 March 2016. Retrieved 8 May 2016.
  10. ^ Nicholas Reilly. "Islamic preacher 'named' on the leaked list of Ashley Madison members". Metro, 23 August 2015. Retrieved 8 May 2016.

External links