Mosque defends Saudi invitations

By Simon Rocker, December 24, 2009

Birmingham’s Green Lane Mosque has defended its invitations to two Saudi-based invitations condemned as “antisemitic and anti-sectarian” by another Muslim organisation.

British Muslims for Secular Democracy had called on the mosque to cancel scheduled appearances this weekend by Faisal al-Jassim and Abdul Aziz Al-Sadhan.

The anti-extremist think-tank had also denounced the invitations to the two preachers, publishing extracts from their sermons.

But the mosque said that it had contacted the two men to clarify their position. “Both speakers regret the way in which the Quilliam Foundation has chosen to handpick a few statements from hundreds of hours of lectures to portray them in a negative light,” Green Lane said.

It added: “Dr Al-Sadhan has also stated that he is a fierce opponent of terrorism in all its forms, irrespective of the perpetrators. As such he has made it clear that when he referred to ‘the Jews’, this reference was not to Jews in general, but to those elements that have shown hostility to Muslims and resorted to violence.”

The statement said: “Neither of the speakers condone disseminating divisive and destructive message[s], nor do they consider it permissible to break the law of the land. In light of the above, Green Lane Masjid and Community Centre is satisfied with the clarification given by the invited speakers.”

Last updated: 1:20pm, December 24 2009