Sara Hassan deltok i produksjoen av Channel Fours «Undercover mosque» som viste at moskeer sprer hat og intoleranse. Ett år var gått. Nå skulle alt være så mye bedre. Sara Hassan dro for å finne ut om det var sant.
In a large balcony above the beautiful main hall at Regent’s Park Mosque in London – widely considered the most important mosque in Britain – I am filming undercover as the woman preacher gives her talk.
What should be done to a Muslim who converts to another faith? «We kill him,» she says, «kill him, kill, kill…You have to kill him, you understand?»
Adulterers, she says, are to be stoned to death – and as for homosexuals, and women who «make themselves like a man, a woman like a man … the punishment is kill, kill them, throw them from the highest place».
These punishments, the preacher says, are to be implemented in a future Islamic state. «This is not to tell you to start killing people,» she continues. «There must be a Muslim leader, when the Muslim army becomes stronger, when Islam has grown enough.»
A young female student from the group interrupts her: the punishment should also be to stone the homosexuals to death, once they have been thrown from a high place.
These are teachings I never expected to hear inside Regent’s Park Mosque, which is supposedly committed to interfaith dialogue and moderation, and was set up more than 60 years ago, to represent British Muslims to the Government. And many of those listening were teenage British girls or, even more disturbingly, young children.
Mange av tilhørerne er unge jenter, og de forandrer seg etter en stund.
Moskeen skal liksom være moderat. De tar avstand fra vold og terror, men oppfordrer muslimene til å distansere seg fra ikke-troende og ikke ha noe med dem å gjøre.
The mosque is meant to promote moderation and integration. But although the circle does preach against terrorism and does not incite Muslims to break British laws, it teaches Muslims to «keep away» and segregate themselves from disbelievers: «Islam is keeping away from disbelief and from the disbelievers, the people who disbelieve.»
Friendship with non-Muslims is discouraged because «loyalty is only to the Muslim, not to the kaffir [disbeliever]».
A woman who was friendly with a non-Muslim woman was heavily criticised: «It’s part of Islam, of the correct belief, that you love those who love Allah and that you hate those who hate Allah.»
One preacher even says Muslims shouldn’t live in Britain at all: «It is not befitting for Muslims that he should reside in the land of evil, the land of the kuffaar, the land of the disbelievers.»
Another, Um Saleem, says Muslims should not take British citizenship as their loyalty is to Allah.
«Some conditions can take you into disbelief, to take the British citizenship, whether you like it or not, for these people, you are selling your religion, it’s a very serious thing, it is not allowed to give allegiance to other than Allah.»
I was amazed at how many young British women seemed to find this version of the faith attractive. One young girl told me that when she first attended the circle, she was dressed in jeans and that she had many non-Muslim friends. She now loves only those that are around her – «other sisters in the circle» – and only engages with non-Muslims to try to convert them. Many of the sisters had the idea of living as a separate community – a concept alien to me and many other Muslims I know.
Det er Saudi-Arabia som styrer moskeen og finansierer den. Utad er moskeen moderat, men det som sies er det ikke, og ingenting har forandret seg på ett år.
The director general of Regent’s Park Mosque is Dr Ahmed Al Dubayan, a Saudi diplomat. He has denied to Dispatches that his mosque promotes the Saudi version of the faith, often called Wahhabism. And indeed, the imams in the main hall are Egyptian, and the sermons I heard from them were tolerant and moderate when you listen to them on Fridays.
But the preachers I heard in the women’s section took their theology directly from Saudi Arabia. One of them had recently returned from three years of study in Saudi Arabia, and the other preachers almost exclusively directed me to the works, sermons, fatwas and online sites of the scholars of the Saudi Arabian religious establishment and their adherents.