The war of words between the Quilliam Foundation and the Green Lane Masjid (Birmingham) continues. Today saw the Quilliam Foundation issue an open letter to Faisal al-Jassim – who is due to speak at the Winter Conference at the GLM – and whom Quilliam had described in a previous press release as being a ‘fellow-traveller’ with al-Qa’ida.
Meanwhile, Green Lane Masjid have issued a new press release saying:
‘Having met both speakers on previous occasions, it is very clear to us that these statements [quoted by Quilliam] do not fairly reflect their views. The aforementioned are acutely aware of the problems terrorism and extremism present in the world today. They are passionate opponents of such dangerous ideologies – a point which the Quilliam Foundation has conveniently chosen to ignore.
‘Neither of the speakers condone disseminating divisive and destructive message, nor do they consider it permissible to break the law of the land. In light of the above, Green Lane Masjid and Community Centre is satisfied with the clarification given by the invited speakers.
‘Green Lane Masjid and Community Centre has always condemned incitement to terrorism, extremism, racism and intolerance. We ask others to join us in this struggle to free our society of such evils. At the same time we ask those who are unfamiliar with the ethos of Green Lane Masjid and Community Centre to communicate with us, before jumping on the bandwagon of those whose goal is to demonise the Muslim community and its institutions.
‘Unfortunately, it appears that the Quilliam Foundation has set out with a pre-determined agenda to create mischief and portray us in a negative light, in order to foment divisions amid British Muslims along sectarian lines and generate mistrust amongst the wider public. We believe that the press release issued by the Quilliam Foundation will play into the hands of those who wish to exacerbate tensions within society, and portrays Green Lane Masjid and Community Centre in a defamatory and negative light.
‘Green Lane Masjid and Community Centre would like to take this opportunity to acknowledge the support it has received from countless organisations, from within the Muslim and non-Muslim communities. We urge these organisations to publicly voice their objections where established mainstream Muslim institutions are targeted in such a manner.’