Lambeth-Based Teenagers Supposedly Going to Syria

Brixton Masjid – Press Release

Some of the tabloid press have attempted to claim that certain Muslim teenagers from the Lambeth area who may have gone to Syria were themselves attendees of Brixton Mosque and Islamic Cultural Centre.

We warn such junior and amateur tabloid journalists that firstly, if they can care to furnish us with the evidence that such teenagers were attendees we would be sure to look into the matter. Secondly, such journalists should not fall into the trap of making false links with extremists and our Mosque and the example of Martin Bentham in 2007 when writing for the Evening Standard (of London) should be a lesson to them. Martin Bentham described the Jamaican extremist Takfiri preacher Abdullah El Faisal al-Jamaykee as “the Brixton Mosque preacher” in the Evening Standard (of London) on Thursday 12 April 2007. A complaint about Bentham’s article was subsequently put forward by us to the then Press Complaints Commission which resulted in a published apology and a documented record of our complaint which can be accessed Online. Thirdly, such journalists should at least have the community awareness to know that there are around 8 Mosques in the Brixton, Stockwell and Vauxhall vicinities and not just Brixton Mosque on Gresham Road!

In the last nine years some sections of the Tabloid media have also attempted to contact Brixton Mosque after the events of: 7/7, 21/7, the Woolwich incident and the recent Brixton slavery case. Amateur and junior tabloid journalists, in trying to get a scoop for their editors as if genuflecting in from of them, would simplistically, disrespectfully and erroneously turn up at Brixton Mosque asking “did they attend the mosque?”!? As if Brixton Mosque is in some way linked to, or responsible for, every heterodox, extremist and ignorant action committed by the Muslims in London.

Hence, we caution such journalists from such false reporting and any attempt to falsely link Brixton Mosque with extremism will be dealt with in the most robust manner. Not only will we notify IPSO of any false, disingenuous, defamatory and unsubstantiated assertions but we will also rigorously critique such journalists and seek legal advice if they do not furnish us with appropriate evidence of a link to our Mosque within a fourteen day period.

We hope that the above will ensure that any scrupulous journalist will conduct adequate research and investigations before merely believing hype and hearsay.

The Brixton Mosque and Islamic Cultural Centre has, all praise is due to Allaah, an impeccable record when it comes to challenging, refuting and exposing extremism and it is to the Mosque’s credit that it has been at the forefront of directly taking on extremism head-on before it became a fashion trend to do so post 9/11. The Salafi ethos of the Mosque has been pivotal in critiquing and rebuffing the Khawarij and Jihadi-Takfiri method over the last twenty years.

If any serious journalist or researcher wishes to pursue nuanced and detailed research into these issues, the public relations team are available for further discussion and are ever-willing to assist.

Media and Public Relations Department
Brixton Mosque and Islamic Cultural Centre, London
Thursday 2nd October 2014