UK media is reporting that the chairman of the Finsbury Park mosque has demanded that the mosque be removed from a Reuter’s database used to screen banking clients for links to terrorism. According to a Guardian report:
July 28, 2015 The chairman of Finsbury Park mosque has demanded to be removed from a confidential terrorism blacklist used by UK high street banks, warning that it ‘alienated and demonised’ members of the mainstream Muslim community.
Mohammed Kozbar said he was ‘shocked and astonished’ to find the north London mosque described as a terrorism risk on a confidential database used by 49 out of the world’s biggest 50 banks.
He made the discovery following a BBC Radio 4 documentary due to be aired on Tuesday night by the journalist Peter Oborne into why HSBC cancelled the accounts of several prominent Islamic bodies without explanation last year.
The documentary concluded that Finsbury Park mosque, along with the Cordoba Foundation thinktank, have been classified under ‘terrorism’ on World-Check, a risk-analysis database owned by the financial information giant Thomson Reuters.
The mosque was once linked to the radical Islamist cleric Abu Hamza in the late 1990s, but has for the last decade sought to purge its extremist past and integrate with the wider community.
Kozbar, who has worked to transform the mosque, said he was dismayed to learn the body had been deemed a terrorism risk and been given no right of reply.
He said the classification undermined David Cameron’s call earlier this month for the Muslim community to integrate more with wider British society because the mosque had been unfairly blacklisted by high street banks, forcing it to go instead to an Islamic bank.
Read the rest here.
The GMBDW reported yesterday that a UK journalist and supporter of the Muslim Brotherhood has complained that the Global Muslim Brotherhood Daily Watch (GMBDW) is used as a source by the database in question known as World Check. Likely as a result of that complaint, a UK group whose officials have been linked by British media to the UK Muslim Brotherhood and Hamas support organizations today published a rather crude attempt at smearing the GMBDW.
A Saudi newspaper published an article detailing how the Finsbury Mosque was taken over in 2005 by the UK Muslim Brotherhood. In 2010, a UK media report detailed some of the connections between mosque trustees and terrorism:
The new leadership’s representative quoted in this BBC report, Azzam Tamimi, stated the previous year that he would be a suicide bomber (against Israelis): “If I had the opportunity, I would do it… Sacrificing myself for Palestine is a noble cause.” One of the mosque’s trustees is Mohammed Sawalha, described by the BBC’s Panorama as a former senior figure in Hamas who “is said to have masterminded much of Hamas’s political and military strategy” from his perch in London. Last year, Mr Sawalha also signed the Istanbul Declaration, which calls for attacks against the allies of Israel, which include the UK; the British Government interpreted it as calling for attacks on British troops.
In March 2012, we reported on video of Mohammed Kozbar publicly threatening Israel with destruction if it should respond militarily to rockets being fired into Israel from Gaza.
In June 2012, a UK blog reported and published photos showing that Mr. Kozbar was among a group that met in Gaza with Hamas “Prime Minister” Ismail Haniyeh and Jordanian Muslim Brotherhood leader Hammam Saeed. The group went to Gaza with a “Miles of Smiles” convoy, led by Essam Yusuf, the former head of the Union of Good and still the Managing Trustee of Interpal, both organizations designated by the US as terrorist entities.