‘While neither the government, nor London’s mayor and Assembly, nor Newham council have yet expressed a syllable of concern over the fact that the Tablighi Jamaat described by the FBI and French intelligence as the principal recruiters for al Qaeda in Europe is behind plans to build the largest mosque in Europe on the site of the Olympic village, Muslims themselves have now spoken out against the proposal and warned that the mosque will be a site for Islamist extremism.’
The Times (
A petition against the scheme, organised by Muslims in the
borough of Newham, attracted 2,500 signatures in only ten days and is continuing to draw support. It says that allowing Tablighi Jamaat to build the mosque would aggravate community tensions… Dr Irfan al-Alawi,
director of the Centre for Islamic Pluralism, is ‘extremely concerned’ about the spread of Tablighi Jamaat and recently addressed a seminar at the Policy Exchange think-tank about the mosque plans. ‘Tablighi are not moderate Muslims, they are a separatist movement,’ he said. ‘If this mosque were to go ahead it will be strictly run by the Tablighis; there will be no room for moderates.’ Asif Shakoor, chairman of Sunni Friends of Newham, said the petition was a response to a feeling that the voices of most Muslims in the area were not being heard. The petition text states: ‘We propose that when and if planning permission is granted . . . that all Muslim groups be equally represented at the proposed place of worship that is to celebrate the 2012 Olympic Games in
The petition may owe more to factionalism within Sunni Muslims than a desire for moderation. Note that Asif Shakoor still wants a mega-mosque, just not one built solely by Tablighi Jamaat.
We can’t vouch for the other content of the linked website below, but this article seems well-researched and informative (opens in a new window):
‘Tabligh’ means ‘to deliver (a message)’ and Jama’at is ‘group.’ So Tablighi Jamaat means ‘a group delivering a message’. Even though Tablighi Jamaat is international, each Jamaat within Tablighi Jamaat is semi-autonomous under its own leader or ‘Amir.’ Each group is also closely linked to a geographical area and is centred on a mosque. The ‘message’ of Tablighi Jamaat is one of purity of Islam and a return to its true teachings with strict observance of Islamic law and with no syncretism with other religions or beliefs. It follows that other groups, and mosques not delivering the same ‘message’, are not as pure, which can lead to resentment. Tablighi Jamaat sees itself as a missionary organization, proselytizing both within and without the Muslim world. Young Muslim men are a particular target.
Although the message is ostensibly one of individual piety, there is no doubt that followers of Tablighi Jamaat are expected to work towards the establishment of an Islamic state wherever they are. Sharia law and political forces like the Taliban are seen as good things within the organisation. The International Assessment and Strategy Center (sic it’s American) said ‘Farad Esack, a South African Islamic scholar who says he spent 12 years with the group in Pakistan, recounted in the New York Times a favorite Tablighi Jamaat analogy that equates individual Muslims to the electricians who work to light up a village. Each person lays wire until one day, the mayor comes to switch on the lights. "For many people in Tablighi Jamaat," he said, "the Taliban represented Allah switching the lights on." (Susan Sachs, "A Muslim Missionary Group Draws New Scrutiny in
," The New York Times,
July 14, 2003
, viewed at: http://www.hvk.org/articles/0703/113.html )’