Earlier this month, reporting the East London Mosque/London Muslim Centre’s latest pledge to ban homophobic preachers, I described how the mosque has repeatedly lied and broken such promises before: waiting a couple of months until the coast is clear, then bringing the extremists back.
This time, however, it has only taken just over a week for the mosque’s bad faith to emerge. The day after tomorrow, 29 June, it welcomes to its premises an organisation called Sex and Relationship Education Islamic (SRE Islamic), one of whose main purposes is to campaign for “the unacceptability of homosexuality which is often portrayed as a lifestyle choice.” That’s a quote from the first sentence of SRE Islamic’s statement of values.
SRE Islamic is run by members of Hizb ut Tahrir, a racist and extremist group which believes that Muslims should not mix with non-Muslims. Hizb ut Tahrir says that Muslims who believe in democracy are “kafir,” or unbelievers. Hizb ut Tahrir works for a worldwide Islamic superstate, or caliphate (as does the Islamic Forum of Europe, which runs the mosque.)
SRE Islamic’s director and Hizb ut Tahrir member, Yusuf Patel, will be speaking at Wednesday’s event, alongside the director of the East London Mosque himself, Dilowar Khan: a clear official endorsement by the mosque. Indeed, the meeting is co-sponsored by the mosque.
Let us remind ourselves what Salman Farsi, the mosque’s PR, said on 9 June, exactly 18 days ago: “Any speaker who is believed to have said something homophobic will not be allowed to use our premises.”
Wednesday’s meeting is not just with someone who has “said something homophobic,” but is organised by a campaign explicitly dedicated to promoting the “unacceptability of homosexuality.” The meeting was first advertised on 17 June, precisely eight days after Mr Farsi’s ringing pledge.
Could there be a clearer indication of just how much an East London Mosque promise is worth?