May 14, 2004


In a years gonzo style film making I have always kept to the rule that I only disturbed Mr. Hamza, Abdullah, Hajj and friends when there were already camera’s about. I had no desire to join in the kangaroo court, I never felt very marsupial like. In a week when it was quiet Mr. Abdullah came up to me. He and Hajj asked me if what I had heard had any effect on me, meaning was I wavering towards becoming a Muslim. I said that I didn’t really want to discuss whether I thought there was a god or not in their mosque, and we made a tentative agreement to discuss this all with a camera in a cafĂ©. The next week Muslims were arrested in Britain, allegedly with half a ton of fertiliser in a lock up.

To make any document of this mosque I’ve found it interesting to examine my own concept of god, and to be as honest as possible about it, especially to Mr. Abdullah. I suppose I have always been filming with the hope of a solution in mind. Being loosely attached to various groups who believe in social change, I’ve always felt more inclined to film in Finsbury Park, where the rights and wrongs are less clear to me than make any dogmatic film about how much better “we” are than “them". I don’t hate George Bush, I just feel sorry for him. I come from a loose group of people who believe there is going to be a global shift in consciousness, rather than any political or religious solution. I went to Finsbury Park to test the reality such a utopic view is up against. It worries me as a secular, spiritual person that there are so many Americans and so many Muslims locking us all into an Armageddon theory.

Being so close to the situation at Finsbury Park I wonder sometimes what sort of reception a TV documentary about Mr. Abdullah would get. I gave the same short I made for Idealworld to a lot of the younger guys at Finsbury Park to see what they made of it. I also gave it to Mr. Abdullah. The advantage of documentary making is that I can let the audience make the judgment. The safety of London is at stake. Its certainly been a bizarre journey. Why I do it I have still to work out. Maybe I should ask Abu Hamza.

Do I believe in God? I don't actually believe in belief. There either is one or there isn't one, and whatever I believe wont change that fact. I'm just trying to stay off cannabis and meditate.

Pro-Finsbury Park mosque:

Anti-Finsbury Park mosque

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