After being exposed in the Telegraph in February, the East London Mosque was on its best behaviour for a while. But now, at this favourite destination of hate and extremist preachers (18 at least since March 2009), normal service appears to have resumed.
One of the mosque’s more troublesome associations has been with Anwar al-Awlaki, the al-Qaeda-sympathising cleric named as an inspiration by many high-profile terrorists, including the 9/11 hijackers, the Fort Hood murderer, the attempted Detroit plane attacker and the would-be Times Square bomber. Awlaki last spoke at the mosque, by video link, on 1 January 2009, at an event advertised with this poster of New York under bombardment.
Ever since Fort Hood, the East London Mosque has tried to downplay its Awlaki links, at least to journalists or people who might give it some more public money. It continues to claim that it is a centre of tolerance and moderation. This Monday, however, it is hosting one Abu Adnan, an Australian Awlaki supporter who has staunchly defended the cleric as an “important figure.”
Adnan is a senior officeholder at the Global Islamic Youth Centre in Sydney, where his partner is Feiz Mohammed, described by The Australian newspaper as “on paper, Australia’s most dangerous sheikh” for his links to extremists and terrorists. Adnan is on a six-date tour of the UK, where one of his other events is subtitled “Allegiance with the people of eemaan [the true faith] and dissociation with the people of enmity [non-Muslims].” Just the boy for the East London Mosque, I’d have thought.