I was bending over backwards to be fair to the Birmingham Green Lane Mosque earlier this week, or at least to Imam Shaykh Zakaullah Saleem who was giving the lecture. Taken globally the output of that mosque is dubious, to say the least, and an award of public cash has been suspended. Permanently, I hope, but I fear I will be disappointed. From GB News.
A Birmingham mosque with a long history of hosting controversial speeches recently awarded millions in taxpayers’ cash has had its grant paused after a GB News investigation.
The Green Lane Masjid and Community Centre in Birmingham was awarded £2.2million from the government’s Youth Investment Fund this month to expand its youth services.
The grant, from the Department of Culture, Media and Sport, was awarded for the development of a new youth centre offering programmes on leadership, critical thinking, arts and culture and “empowering marginalised communities,” according to BirminghamLive.
Distribution of the funds is being managed by Social Investment Business (SIB), but GB News understands that funding to the Green Lane Masjid and Community Centre has been paused while the SIB investigates allegations raised by this broadcaster about the mosque’s links to controversial and extremist speakers.
GB News understands that some due diligence checks were conducted before funds were awarded to all beneficiaries, including the Green Lane Masjid and Community Centre.
But this broadcaster has reviewed footage of recent lectures given by Green Lane-linked cleric Abu Usamah, where he made further shocking claims. I mentioned the programme Undercover Mosque from 2007. Back then Abu Usamah was recorded saying ““take that homosexual man and throw him from the mountain” and “it takes two witnesses of a woman to equal the one witness of the man.” The last is pure sharia law directly from the koran.
In a lecture in Leeds last year, the preacher criticised people campaigning for women’s rights in Iran amid the regime’s crackdown on the hijab. He said: “Every so many years we always get these kinds of people, who jump up and down about the huriya [freedom] of the woman. Well Islam came and freed the woman, when she practises Islam correctly and when we practise Islam correctly.”
Mustafa Abu Rayyan, an imam and the mosque’s head of outreach, said on a podcast uploaded by Green Lane Masjid earlier this year that women must be “obedient” to men and that a wife must “serve her husband” and “fulfil his physical desires.” He added that “this is the whole point of marriage.” Abu Rayyan also lamented how modern feminism meant that some Muslim women “struggle with things like a man marrying a second wife,” referring to the Islamic practice of having multiple wives, adding that feminism meant that “they struggle with the idea that they have to obey their husband.”
Footage has also emerged online of lectures given at the Green Lane Masjid where an unnamed speaker (we know the name from the Indian press; it’s Imam Shaykh Zakaullah Saleem, as above) describes the process for stoning a woman to death.
He says: “According to the Shariah again, when it comes to women, there must be a hole dug in the earth and she must be covered up to half of her body so that her [Islamic term for clothing] does not appear.”
It is not known when this footage was broadcast. The context of the footage is also unclear, but the Green Lane Masjid and Community Centre did not offer further information when questioned by this broadcaster.
Brendan Clarke-Smith, the Conservative MP for Bassetlaw, said: “I congratulate GB News in bringing these serious allegations to the public’s attention. Funding from the taxpayer must be subject to due diligence and strict oversight, especially as we want to make sure it’s promoting good community projects and not promoting those who seek to cause further divisions in society. If this is the case, then we should be clear and say that ‘I’m afraid there is no money’.
“In a statement, the Green Lane Masjid and Community Centre said that it “has been in the forefront of civic engagement, community integration and interfaith collaboration in Birmingham for many years. We promote sincere adherence to Islam as a religion of peace and we are also deeply committed to supporting those in need in our local community. We take pride in upholding the laws of this country, and we reject violence and extremism unequivocally.”
“None of the imams who preach in the mosque will be involved in our new Youth Centre’s youth engagement.”