Mecca’s Imam Visits Londonistan

by | Jun 17, 2004

The Saudi government pays his salary and the British taxpayer subsidizes the mosque where he speaks. Such official patronage for jihad makes one wonder how many more will have to die as victims of jihad before people really wake up to the threat of militant Islam.

The London Muslim Centre in Whitechapel, reports the BBC, has just opened. One of the largest Muslim community centers in Western Europe, the six-storey building can hold 10,000 worshippers and includes a gym, a library, crèche and classrooms. In its totally upbeat coverage of the opening, the Beeb informs readers that the center intends to “teach women and young people job skills and how to balance work with their role at home” and “improve dialogue between Islam and other faiths.”

We learn that center members raised about £4 million (of the total £10 million), with the bulk of funding coming from taxpayers via such public agencies as the European Development Fund, the London Borough of Tower Hamlets, and the London Development Agency. The grand rabbi of Great Britain and a cabinet minister attended the opening. Prince Charles, away in the United States for the Reagan funeral, delivered a taped message.

So relentlessly upbeat is the BBC coverage that it reports without further comment that inaugural prayers were led by someone it calls “one of Islam’s most renowned Imams.” That would be Sheikh Abdur-Rahman al-Sudais (also spelled Sudayyis), a Saudi government-appointed imam of the Grand Mosque in Mecca. The news item quotes some anodyne statements by Sudais congratulating British Muslims for taking “great steps towards achieving community cohesion” and calling on them to “exemplify the true image of Islam in their interaction with other communities.”

Unspoken here is the identity of Abdur-Rahman al-Sudais, a notorious Islamist, antisemite, and jihadist. Steven Stalinsky of MEMRI prepared a fine report on him that gives a sense of who he is. Two extracts follow:

The themes of his sermons are characterized by confrontation toward non-Muslims. Al-Sudayyis calls Jews “scum of the earth” and “monkeys and pigs” who should be “annihilated.” Other enemies of Islam, he says, are “worshippers of the cross” and “idol-worshipping Hindus” who should be fought. Al-Sudayyis has been consistent in calling for jihad in Kashmir and Chechnya, for Jerusalem to be liberated, and for the “occupiers in Iraq” to also be fought. He often claims that Islam is superior to Western culture. …

The concluding supplications of Al-Sudayyis sermons are often filled with statements concerning current affairs. He consistently calls for “Muslims to humiliate the infidels (non-Muslims),” as well as for their destruction. For example, on November 1, 2002, he stated “O Allah, support our mujahedeen bothers in Palestine, Kashmir, and Chechnya.”

So there you have it: the Saudi government pays his salary and the British taxpayer subsidizes the mosque where he speaks. Such official patronage for jihad makes one wonder how many more will have to die as victims of jihad before people really wake up to the threat of militant Islam.

Daniel Pipes is director of the Middle East Forum and a columnist for both the New York Post and The Jerusalem Post. His website, DanielPipes.org, offers an archive of his published writings and a si

The views expressed above represent those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of the editors and publishers of Capitalism Magazine. Capitalism Magazine sometimes publishes articles we disagree with because we think the article provides information, or a contrasting point of view, that may be of value to our readers.

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