UK: Lessons in hate found at leading mosques

Books calling for the beheading of lapsed Muslims, ordering women to remain indoors and forbidding interfaith marriage are being sold inside some of Britain’s leading mosques, according to research seen by The Times.

Some of the fundamentalist works were found at the bookshop in the London Central mosque in Regent’s Park, which is funded by the Saudi regime and is regularly visited by government ministers. Its director, Ahmad al-Dubayan, is also a Saudi diplomat and was among those greeting King Abdullah when he arrived in Britain last night for his official state visit.

Extremist literature, including passages supporting the stoning of adulterers and waging violent jihad, was also found on sale at many other mosques regarded as mainstream institutions.

More than 80 books and pamphlets were collected during a year-long project in which researchers visited 100 mosques across Britain.

One book, Fatawa Islamiyah, which urges the execution of apostates, was found in bookshops at Regent’s Park mosque and at the huge East London mosque in Whitechapel. Muhammad Abdul Bari, the secretary-general of the Muslim Council of Britain (MCB), is the chairman of the East London mosque.

The researchers said that they found further controversial works during visits to mosques in Manchester, Birmingham, Edinburgh, Oxford and High Wycombe.

The Times has learnt that five of the books that were acquired by researchers had been also found in searches during Scotland Yard antiterrorist investigations since 2001. About half of the books collected were in English — raising questions about the emphasis placed by the Government in combating extremism by training more English-speaking imams. The other publications were in Arabic or Urdu. The report, The Hijacking of British Islam, is published by the conservative Policy Exchange think-tank and was written by Denis MacEoin, a Fellow at Newcastle University and expert on Islamic issues.

The researchers found hardline material at a quarter of the 100 mosques visited during the project.

The report said: “On the one hand, the results were reassuring: in only a minority of institutions — approximately 25 per cent — was radical material found.

“What is more worrying is that these are among the best-funded and most dynamic institutions in Muslim Britain — some of which are held up as mainstream bodies. Many of the institutions featured here have been endowed with official recognition.”

A key theme of the books was a “strident sectarianism” which told Muslims that they should remain separate from other faiths and resist integration. The report stated: “Simply put, these notions demand that the individual Muslim must not merely feel deep affection for and identity with his fellow believers and with all that is authentically Islamic. The individual Muslim must also feel an abhorrence for nonbelievers, hypocrites, heretics, and all that is deemed ‘unIslamic’. The latter category encompasses those Muslims who are judged to practise an insufficiently rigorous form of Islam.” Most books stopped short of calling for violence. But they created a climate of intolerance and contempt for nonMuslims that could be exploited by violent jihadists, the researchers said.

The report called for a radical overhaul of Britain’s relationship with Saudi Arabia, which it argued has a “powerful and malign” influence over British Islam and sponsored the export of fundamentalist Islamic doctrine.

Regent’s Park mosque said that the bookshop on its premises was run by a private company. Yunes Teniaz, of the London Central Mosque Trust, told The Times: “The bookshop is franchised to a separate organisation. These books express their authors’ opinions and not those of the London Central Mosque Trust.”

Inayat Bunglawala, the MCB assistant secretary-general, said: “Bookshops sell a variety of publications and we live in an open, democratic society where it is not illegal to sell books which contain antiWestern views.”

Fundamental views: Extracts from works found on sale in British mosques

“And if he apostatises after that, his head should be chopped off, according to the Hadith: ‘Whoever changes his religion, kill him’.”
(Fatawa Islamiyah — Islamic Verdicts, volume 5; reported found at the East London mosque and the London Central mosque)

“Whoever takes part in stoning a married adulterer is rewarded for that, and it is not fitting for anyone to abstain from it if a ruling of stoning is issued.”
(Fatawa Islamiyah — Islamic Verdicts, volume 6; reported found at the East London mosque)

“Some Kinds of Women Who Will Go to Hell
1. The Grumbler €¦ the woman who complains against her husband every now and then is one of Hell.
2. The Woman Who Adorns Herself.
3. The Woman Who Apes Men, Tattoos, Cuts Hair Short and Alters Nature.
(Women Who Deserve to Go to Hell: East London mosque; Muslim Education Centre, High Wycombe)

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Religion News Blog posted this on Tuesday October 30, 2007.
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