However, after videos came out of their imams giving sermons on how to stone a woman ‘correctly’ for adultery and delivering speeches that incite murder of homosexuals, bungling civil servants had to rush to freeze the £2 million grant to the Green Lane Mosque in Birmingham.
Daily Mail The mosque was once featured in a Channel 4 documentary where one firebrand imam was filmed preaching violent jihad against ‘the kuffar’, a derogatory term for unbelievers.
Officials had transferred £77,000 to the mosque before an anti-extremism group called Focus on Western Islamism (FWI) raised the alarm. The rest of the award was halted when FWI appeared to present evidence showing how the mosque’s clerics promoted hate speech.
The £2.2 million grant was offered by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS), from a £300 million pot set up to fund youth centres across Britain.
Last month, a video of a sermon delivered by the mosque’s head imam, Sheikh Zakaullah Saleem, emerged on social media, where he told his congregation of the correct way to stone a woman after she had been found guilty of adultery. The cleric said she must be buried in the earth up to her waist ‘to protect her modesty’, after which stoning to death can begin. The video sermon, which was once available on the mosque’s YouTube channel, has now disappeared.
The Imam was also reported to have called on the government to take “legal action” against the former Batley School Grammar School teacher who was forced into hiding with his family amid death threats in response to him showing his class a caricature of the Islamic prophet during a class on blasphemy.
The Green Lane Mosque said Imam Saleem’s quotes on stoning have been taken out of context.
Another imam, Abu Mustafa Rayyan, gave a talk where he says a wife must fulfill her husband’s ‘physical needs’ at all times, leading to accusations that this may condone marital rape.
The mosque’s most influential imam, Abu Usamah al-Thahabi, compared Shamima Begum – the British Islamic State (ISIS) bride trying to come back to Britain – to white teenage victims of Asian grooming gangs in northern England. Al-Thahabi was once featured in an undercover Channel 4 documentary telling his congregation ‘jihad’ against the kuffar was coming.
In another speech in the film, which was broadcast in 2007, Al-Thahabi said: ‘If I were to call homosexuals perverted, dirty, filthy dogs who should be murdered, that’s my freedom of speech, isn’t it? But they’ll say no, I’m not tolerant. But they feel that it’s OK to say something about the Prophet [Muhammad]?’
The mosque said the backlash over the ‘stoning’ clip escalated over the weekend, with Islamaphobic and hateful messages delivered to the mosque and via social media. “It’s a clip that plays into racist tropes and stereotypes and it is highly misleading,” they added. “We have received hostility directed towards the mosque on social media and there has been an increase in hate mail and threats, which we are taking very seriously.