February 10, 2005


No idea if this is true or not. This is the guardian article.

Muslim hardliners who took control of the Finsbury Park mosque in north London were deposed at the weekend after allegations that opponents had been beaten and intimidated,

But the Guardian has learned that in December hardliners retook control. They are alleged to have enforced their will by violence and intimidation and to have preached sermons which some at the mosque regarded as extreme.

On Saturday trustees appointed last week changed the locks and took physical control of the building.

Police officers went to the mosque in case of trouble, but did not enter it.

Kamal Helbawy, a spokesman for the new trustees, said: "People were afraid to go in and pray or to do activities. People were afraid of those who had seized the power."

Dr Helbawy said those who had seized control would be allowed to pray at the mosque but would be banned from giving sermons.

"They are not allowed to preach and teach their own ideas. We consider them extremists, they are advocating violence, they are not preaching the middle way of Islam."

A senior member of the mosque told the Guardian that he had been surrounded and punched unconscious inside the mosque about a month ago. "I went inside, they just ran at me, I was circled and punched. I woke up after a few seconds, I just walked out. This is not Islam, you can't tell them anything, you will be bullied and attacked."

He said another mosque elder had been followed home and attacked. At least two assaults on people opposed to the alleged hardliners have been reported to the police.

A senior police source said: "We had become aware that local people felt intimidated and have not been able to go in. It was all unsavoury and unsatisfactory."

I have no idea if this is true, I am on the case. Last I heard Jamal was alleging that the Saudi governments money was somehow linked to this...

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