Birmingham Central Mosque chairman slams ‘irresponsible’ report

The chairman of Birmingham Central Mosque has accused the Government of failing to do enough to tackle those peddling extremist Islamic literature. Dr Mohammad Naseem also criticised “irresponsible” reports of a study by think-tank Policy Exchange, which found material attacking gays and non-believers was available at several UK mosques.

“A mosque is an open, public place and anyone can distribute literature or leave literature in a mosque,” Dr Naseem said. “The real question is who is publishing these leaflets? These are people that spread hatred and the people who do publish this literature generally don’t put their name on it. If such literature comes to our notice we will confiscate it and we will report it to the police.”

Researchers for Policy Exchange spent more than a year visiting nearly 100 Muslim religious institutions across the country, and found extremist material was available – either openly or under the table – in about 25. Extreme statements in the documents included a call for jihad against “tyrants and oppressors”, which is “best done through force if possible”.

But Dr Naseem added: “My presumption is that these leaflets have nothing to do with the mosques – it’s irresponsible to suggest that a quarter of mosques are involved with this.”

Birmingham Post, 30 October 2007