Muslim Association of Britain London
Professor Reza Moradi interrupted a talk organised by the University and College Union (UCU) YouTube screenshot

Hundreds of people are watching a YouTube video of a London professor interrupting a university conference on immigration to protest against the presence of "an Islamist who supports stoning to death and sharia law".

Professor Reza Moradi interrupted a talk organised by the University and College Union (UCU) held at the London Metropolitan University, to criticise the decision to invite Mohammed Kozbar, vice president of the Muslim Association of Britain (MAB), to take part in the discussion panel.

"MAB is what is known as a 'soft' Islamist organisation, normalising and justifying terrorism, the Caliphate and sharia rules," Moradi wrote on his Facebook page after the incident.

"I am outraged that my union would share a panel with an Islamist organisation, despite its links with the Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood, its defence of death by stoning for adultery and support of the death penalty for apostates such as me.

"This is not standing with immigrants and refugees – many of whom have fled the brutality of Islamists in our own countries, including myself – and of course many Muslims."

When contacted by IBTimes UK, Moradi explained that he protested because he felt frustrated when he saw a member of the MAB sitting next to Labour MP Diane Abbott and UCU's members.

"Kozbar does not have anything to do with immigration issues and inviting him was an absolute abuse of university resources," he said. "I think it was a very political meeting and although people are free to speak about whatever they like, the UCU has a certain task and should stick with it. But by inviting Kozbar, the union used university resources for political alliances.

"I don't want my university to give legitimacy to any kind of political movement. We should keep Muslim students away from this kind of political games," he continued.

"MAB is not the representatives of Muslims, refugees or immigrants any more than the English Defence League or the British National Party are representatives of the British students in the university. "

Kozbar told IBTimes UK that Moradi's claims are false.

"He [Moradi] didn't listen to what I wanted to say during the debate and he started calling me a fascist and an extremist and accused me of lots of things I don't even know about," Kozbar said.

"It seems that he wants to smear us without evidence and knowledge of what we are and what we do. We do not support terrorism or sharia law and we work with all members of the community regardless of their religion.

"Just look at our website and if you find any evidence of what Moradi said, then you can challenge us."

Kozbar believes that what happened at London Metropolitan is not an isolated episode.

"I believe there is a coordinated campaign to prevent Muslims, regardless of their views, from speaking at universities and other public spaces. This is a discrimination against the Muslim community that further fuels Islamophobia."

Commenting on the incident, UCU told IBTimes UK: "UCU staff and UCU members are involved in debates at universities on a regular basis and are not afraid to tackle important topics. There will often be people on panels that we disagree with – that is the important nature of debate."