Muslim preacher defends TV comments

The hardline preacher at the centre of an explosive TV documentary into extremist lectures delivered at a Birmingham Mosque today insisted: “I have nothing to hide.”

Abu Usamah At-Thahabi was secretly taped for months by undercover reporters, appearing to deliver hate-filled lectures at Green Lane Mosque in Small Heath. He is now being investigated by West Midlands Police.

But today he described the Channel 4 Dispatches programme as “a poor attempt at fair journalism because every one of my statements were taken out of context – without any explanation.”

The cleric said he welcomed the police investigation and would provide them with all the DVDs of his lectures. “I totally embrace and encourage a police investigation because I do not believe that the security forces will have any hidden agenda in which they will allow themselves to be swayed by Channel Four’s sensationalist journalism.”

Birmingham Mail, 18 January 2007