Muslims slam hate speakers

By Simon Rocker, December 23, 2009

A Muslim campaign group has called for the withdrawal of an invitation to two Saudi-based preachers it denounced as “antisemitic,” who are due to speak at a Birmingham mosque at the weekend.

Faisal al-Jasem and Abdul Az As-Sadhan are scheduled to appear at the winter conference of the Green Lane Mosque.

But in a letter to the mosque, leaders of British Muslims for Secular Democracy said that they had read about the teachings of the two men “with great alarm”.

In one recorded speech, Sheikh al-Jasem had referred to Jews as “among the arch enemies of this great religion”, the letter said.

Sheikh As-Sadhan had described “the band of Jews” as having “amassed despicable qualities and vile characteristics” and claimed they had “defaced mankind”.

BMSD vice-chairman Shaaz Mahboob and director Tehmina Kazi wrote: “Just as we all came together to demonstrate against the incitement of hatred by the far-right group, Stop the Islamification of Europe, outside Harrow Central Mosque, we call on Green Lane Mosque to rescind their invitation to these preachers of hatred, and for all people of goodwill to join us in opposing racism, sectarianism and bigotry.”

The letter was co-signed by a number of other figures including Sheikh Usama Hasan, of the Tawhid Mosque, Leyton and Reform Rabbis Jonathan Romain and Margaret Jacobi.

No one from Green Lane Mosque was available for comment.

The invitation to the two men was also condemned by the anti-extremist think tank, the Quilliam Foundation, which declared that “British Muslims do not need al-Qaeda’s fellow-travellers lecturing us on history, politics or religion in British mosques.”

But in a press statement last week, the mosque described the foundation’s comments as a “fear-mongering exercise to reinforce the prejudices of those who wish to demonise and alienate long-established, mainstream Muslim institutions”.

It said that the reference to Al-Qaeda could “not be further from the truth. These speakers are academics who have specialised in Islamic sciences and are well respected in scholarly circles.  It is grossly unjust to suggest that they belong to some fringe ideology rather than orthodox Islam.”

Last updated: 1:16pm, December 24 2009