On Wednesday 4 July, the Wembley Central Masjid committee called armed police officers to address a khateeb (speaker) on mosque premises because he delivered a sermon in Ramadan about boycotting Israeli dates.
Asif Uddin is regularly invited by Abdul Sattar – the current imam of WCM – to deliver sermons on a range of topics.
However, Mr Uddin was told to stop giving sermons by WCM’s management committee for allegedly “breaching” the mosque’s speakers’ policy after he delivered a talk on a “political” topic.
5Pillars can confirm that Mr Uddin did not breach the mosque’s speakers’ policy because the policy specifically states that only “politically influenced sermons” which can be perceived as “hate-mongering” and “inciting violence” are “absolutely forbidden”.
The specific sermons which the management committee cited to Mr Uddin which according to them “breached” the speakers’ policy was about the boycotting of Israeli dates and the rape of eight-year-old Asifa Bano in Indian occupied Kashmir.
WCM’s management committee later instructed solicitors to issue a legal warning to Mr Uddin on Friday 29 June to stop delivering sermons at the mosque for breaching the speakers’ policy.
Mr Uddin respectfully refused to stop giving talks at WCM on the basis that he had not delivered any sermons that were “hate-mongering” or “incited violence”, and his continued attendance as a speaker was upon the invitation of Imam Abdul Sattar.
On Wednesday 4 July, the WCM committee called three plain-clothed armed police officers to address Mr Uddin on mosque premises.
A member of the congregation who was present during the incident filmed the exchange.
WCM committee told 5Pillars: “The decision to involve the police was an arrangement made by the Wembley Central Masjid Trustees and not by the Chairman alone as mentioned in your video caption. This step was taken after all the other possible options were exhausted.
“The involvement of the police was only for assistance and maintaining the peace within the Masjid as we anticipated that the incident might create an environment of unnecessary debates, arguments, physical assault or violence.”