Former Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn praised Finsbury Park Mosque on X as a “place of peace, hope and solidarity” only a few days after the Jewish Chronicle exposed the tax-funded mosque as having hosted a number of antisemitic imams and other Muslim officials.
On September 2, Corbyn published on X: “Finsbury Park Mosque offers a place of peace, hope and solidarity to so many people in our community. We will not be divided by those in our media who seek to sow hatred and fear. It is love for our neighbours, whatever their faith, that unites us all.”
Finsbury Park Mosque offers a place of peace, hope and solidarity to so many people in our community.We will not be divided by those in our media who seek to sow hatred and fear.It is love for our neighbours, whatever their faith, that unites us all. pic.twitter.com/qEtQAbjfUL— Jeremy Corbyn (@jeremycorbyn) September 2, 2023
The Mosque, which is based in north London, has received almost £300,000 (NIS 1,433,145.60 or $377,549.70 USD) from Islington Council between 2017 and 2022, according to the JC.
In one of several incidences at the mosque, they hosted an Egyptian imam who pledged to “liberate” Al-Aqsa mosque in Jerusalem from the “filth of the Jews.”
Additionally, the mosque’s general secretary Mohammed Kozbar praised Hamas founder Sheikh Ahmed Yassin as a “the master of the martyrs of resistance, the mujahid [holy warrior] sheikh, the teacher” during his trip to Gaza in 2015. While Hamas is registered as a terrorist organization by the United Kingdom, at this point in time it was only the military wing of the organization that was categorized as such.
Gary Mond, chairman of the UK's National Jewish Assembly told the Jerusalem Post that "Hate speech being promoted by places of religious worship, whether taxpayer funded or not, is utterly unacceptable in our society and should be prosecuted with the full force of the law."
"It serves ultimately as a cause of violence, especially against Jews in this country. Hate crimes against Jews constitute about 25% of all such incidents although Jews comprise barely 0.5% of the UK population."
"Those who indulge in hate speech belong in prison, and institutions that facilitate it should be closed. The fact that public funds appear to support mosques which host hate speakers begs questions. It is not just how this happened, but how deep the problem really is, and needs full investigation."
Tax-funded extremism in the United Kingdom
The expose made by the JC brought to light a number of tax-funded mosques that hosted extremist speakers.
Birmingham mosque, which received the largest government stipend of £2.2 million, hosted a speaker who has described Jews as “people of envy” who “killed the prophets and the messengers.”
The controversial speaker also has a viral video in which he states that adulterous women should be stoned to death.
In Lewisham Islamic Centre, which received £540,000 from the British government, chief imam Shakeel Begg reportedly once called on young Muslims to “go to Palestine and fight the Zionists.”
Recently, growing concern has developed around extremist funding in the UK, as the Jerusalem Post reported in July. The UK Foreign, Commonwealth, and Development Office refused to disclose how it ensures its funding for the Palestinian Authority does not fund the PA's 'Pay for Slay' program which incentivizes terrorism. We Believe in Israel and B’nai B’rith UK are maintaining a legal course of action to gain said information.