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Abu Usamah

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Abu Usamah at-Thahabi is an Imam at Green Lane Masjid in Birmingham, England.[1]

An American[2] national, he converted to Islam and studied at the University of Madinah in Saudi Arabia, an Islamic school popular with converts and international students.[3]

Controversies[edit]

According to a report by the Centre for Social Cohesion, Usamah "advocates holy war in an Islamic state; preaches hatred against non-Muslims; that apostasy and homosexuality are punishable by death; and that women are inferior to men", following an undercover recording of him preaching to his congregation which featured in a Channel 4 Dispatches episode on radical Islam at British universities.[4] During the documentary, Usamah also expressed his support for Osama bin Laden,[5] and defended his right to freedom of expression, saying: "If I were to call homosexuals perverted, dirty, filthy dogs who should be murdered, that's my freedom of speech, isn't it?"[6] Usamah also stated that "He (Osama bin Laden) is better than a million George Bushs, he's better than a thousand Tony Blairs.[3]

Usamah was invited to speak at events held by University College London's Islamic Society on 1 February 2008 and 6 September 2009.[4] He was invited to speak at the same venue on 30 November 2009, but the event was cancelled due to pressure from gay rights and anti-extremism campaign groups.[7] In February 2013, he was invited to speak at the University of Reading, but the event was cancelled by the university after threats of violence.[8]

In 2012, Usamah was accused of sexually harassing Muslim women but a mosque spokesman said: “We have not been contacted by anybody regarding allegations of harassment, sexual or otherwise, against Abu Usamah who remains an employee of the mosque. However we have been made aware of the website and note that it appears unable to back up these serious allegations with any proper proof.”[1]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Birmingham mosque cleric accused of sexual harassment". Birmingham Mail. 12 August 2012. Retrieved 27 February 2013. 
  2. ^ "Outlawed Islamic group recruits near Swedish suicide bomber's Luton home". Telegraph.co.uk. Retrieved 2015-12-22. 
  3. ^ a b "Britain's new preachers of hate". Daily Mirror. 11 January 2007. Retrieved 27 February 2013. 
  4. ^ a b "Radical Islam on UK Campuses: A Comprehensive List of Extremist Speakers at UK Universities" (PDF). Centre for Social Cohesion. April 2010. 
  5. ^ "Radical cleric praises bin Laden". Mail Online. 4 February 2007. Retrieved 6 June 2014. 
  6. ^ David Barrett; Patrick Sawer; Sean Rayment (3 January 2010). "Revealed: the true extent of Islamic radical influence at UCL". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 27 February 2013. 
  7. ^ "'Anti-gay' cleric talk cancelled". BBC News. 25 November 2009. Retrieved 27 February 2013. 
  8. ^ "Reading University cancels events after violent threats". Student Rights. 27 February 2013. Retrieved 3 July 2013.