Torygraph tries to implicate Lewisham Islamic Centre in murder of Lee Rigby

The Daily Telegraph has a report headlined “Lee Rigby killers had links to Lewisham mosque that ‘attracts radicals'”, which cites unnamed “Whitehall sources” as claiming that Michael Adebolajo and Michael Adebowale “had links with the Lewisham Islamic Centre in south-east London, less than six miles from the Woolwich street where they murdered the soldier”.

The unnamed source is quoted as saying of the centre: “It does attract a radical crowd and radical speakers and has its fair share of converts. From that perspective it is significant. Adebolajo and Adebowale did go there, and anywhere that attracts extremists is of interest.”

The response by Lewisham Islamic Centre can be read here. It states:

Our Centre has up to approximately 2,000 people attending Friday prayers on a weekly basis. It is therefore probable that the individuals in question visited the Centre as they were likely to have done with many other centres in and around the London area. At no point however, were these individuals members of our congregation. At no point did these individuals use our services or attend any of our classes. At no point did they have a personal relationship with anyone at the Centre and/or members of the mosque/management. The Police are fully aware of all this and it should be noted that at no point did the Centre and/or any of its staff form part of the investigations in relation to the criminal proceedings.

In view of the above, we can categorically confirm that the individuals were not associated in any way, shape or form with the Lewisham Islamic Centre and/or its staff. The Centre and its Imam encourage constructive engagement in society and a rejection of extremism in all its forms. We unequivocally reject all terrorism.

See also the statement by Imam Shakeel Begg.

Update:  See “Telegraph provokes arson threats against Lewisham Islamic Centre”, Islamophobia Watch, 21 December 2013