Finsbury Mosque Trustees Quit In Forgery Controversy


UK media is reporting on complaints by trustees of the controversial Finsbury mosque that their signatures were forged on mosque legal documents. According to a Time Online report:

A MUSLIM MP brought in to deradicalise the mosque used by Abu Hamza to recruit Al-Qaeda terrorists is to quit as a trustee after complaining his signature was forged on legal documents. Khalid Mahmood has called for a Charity Commission investigation after the alleged forgery on papers prepared by the North London Central Mosque. The signature of a second trustee, Mohammad Sarwar, the Labour MP for Glasgow Central, was also allegedly forged. Mahmood’s resignation will renew controversy at the former Finsbury Park Mosque, which was linked to Al-Qaeda terrorists including the shoebomber Richard Reid and Zacarias Moussaoui, the so-called 20th hijacker in the 9/11 attacks. In 2003 it was raided by police as part of an investigation into an alleged ricin poison plot, which uncovered a mini-arsenal of weapons, terrorism paraphernalia and forged passports. Radical preacher Hamza was thrown out and later jailed for seven years for inciting murder and stirring up racial hatred. The mosque was put under the control of the Muslim Association of Britain by the Charity Commission. The two MPs agreed to sit on the trust board in a deal backed by David Blunkett, then home secretary, and Tony Blair to reclaim the mosque for moderate Muslims. Announcing his intention to resign, Mahmood, Labour MP for Birmingham Perry Barr, said: “I don’t think I can work with these people. Some of the things that have been done have been completely out of order, including the forging of my signature.” The MP, a member of the parliamentary committee on tackling terrorism, said his signature had been forged on the mosque’s trust declaration, which was sent to the Charity Commission in March 2008 to demonstrate that it was operating on a legal basis. At the time he became a trustee, Mahmood was seen as a vital conduit between the government and Muslims in the period that followed the July 2005 suicide bombings in London…..In his letter, Mahmood suggests Sarwar’s signature was also forged on the trust document. Sarwar said: “It’s a very messy business but I’d rather not comment as it is a very sensitive matter.” Mohamad Kozbar, one of the mosque’s nine trustees, said he could not comment.

The Muslim Association of Britain (MAB) had for many years been the most active organization in the U.K Muslim Brotherhood. Many of the leaders of the MAB left in 2007 to form a new organization known as the British Muslim Initiative (BMI). According to sources in the U.K, the breakup appeared to be the result of a conflict between traditionalists in the MAB who were unhappy with the high level of involvement in U.K left-wing politics while those who who formed the BMI wished such activity to continue. Prior to the split, the MAB often joined in coalitions with far-left U.K groups such as the Stop the War Coalition and the Respect Party. The MAB is still part of the European Muslim Brotherhood umbrella group known as the Federation of Islamic Organizations in Europe (FIOE) as well as the U.K. umbrella group the Muslim Council of Britain (MCB), also dominated by the Muslim Brotherhood. After a period in which the MAB appeared to be moribund and only active in Scotland, the web site was reactivated in February 2008 and announced one month later that Ahmed Al-Rawi had been chosen as the new MAB President. Al-Rawi himself had been the long-time president of FIOE and was replaced sometime following the assassination of his brother in Iraq. Sometime in 2009, Ahmad Belhaj replaced Al-Rawi as MAB President.

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