Britain’s biggest mosque is under investigation after it scheduled a fundraising event for a convicted would-be killer.
A rally is being staged in support of Aafia Siddiqui, who is serving 86 years for the attempted murders of US soldiers and FBI agents in Afghanistan five years ago. Siddiqui, a US-trained doctor, was one of America’s most wanted terror suspects.
The event, put on by the Justice for Aafia Coalition, will be at the East London Mosque in Whitechapel on February 23. It will include speeches from Islamic extremists including Shakeel Begg, who was recorded in 2006 urging British students to “wage jihad in Palestine”.
Last night, the Charity Commission said it had started a probe into the mosque which is a registered charity. A spokeswoman said: “We are assessing concerns raised regarding the hosting of a fundraising event. We will look to see what, if any, regulatory concerns there are for the Charity Commission.”
The mosque got £660,000 of taxpayers’ money in 2010 and a further £256,000 the following year – some of it from a Home Office fund for “preventing violent extremism”.
It has a history of hosting fundamentalists and held a “live telephone Q&A” with former al-Qaida preacher Anwar al-Awlaki in 2009. He was killed in a drone strike two years later.
For the ELM statement on the Awlaki issue, see here