Is Lewisham Islamic Centre a centre of hate?
Habibi at HP has a post claiming the Centre is a centre of extremist hate preaching, noting former imam Shakeel Begg, whose various unsavoury positions were the subject of an old post of mine (here).
The post focuses on an event at the centre, at which a pro-stoning and antisemitic speaker from Saudi Arabia, Muhammad Salih al-Munajjid, was to be live in satellite link. The promotional material for the event includes an attack on Usama Hasan, a Muslim cleric who has spoken out against extremist forms of Wahhabi Islam. Saleem Begg, who has also been an imam at Lewisham, has incited violence, even murder, against Usama Hasan.
Note that the Lewisham Islamic Centre says “we would like to thank Tayyibun for supporting this initiative working with us to host the speakers”. That’s the Tayyibun Institute, which will do its bit to promote hate preachers at its own conferences at the East London Mosque and Birmingham’s Rex Centre this weekend.After reading the post, I added some comments to my old post in a clumsy attempt to update.
Amusingly, the Lewisham Islamic Centre has been chosen as a partner for hate crime reporting by the local council [Lewisham council].
Recognising that some people may feel more comfortable reporting hate crime incidents within their own local community network, the newly extended system means that hate crime can now be reported not just to the Council or Police, but also by contacting one of eight community organisations.The local police commander [Borough Commander, Chief Superintendent Jeremy Burton] said:
I am so proud of the groups who have come forward as sites and I know that they think it is as important as I do to encourage everybody to report crimes so that the police and partners can tackle these unacceptable crimes.I am sure that the Centre will report itself promptly for promoting hated of Usama Hasan and all the kaafirs out there.
[UPDATE March 28 2011: Brockley Central have reported that Lewisham council inform them that: "The Islamic Centre is not a third party reporting site. They gave initial commitment last March to the scheme, and were included in the original leaflets but have since been pulled from the list. They did not agree to sign up to the reporting protocol."]
[UPDATE May 24 2013: I have written more about the Centre here, talking the story up to 2013, in light of alleged link of Michael Adebolajo to the Centre.]