'Hate literature easily found at UK mosques'

By Toby Helm, Chief Political Correspondent

Extremist literature that encourages hatred of gays, Christians and Jews can be easily found at many of Britain's mosques, according to a new survey.

  • Read the survey on the Policy Exchange website


    The London Central Mosque
    The London Central Mosque's bookshop is not run by the mosque, as it is a franchise

    Researchers for the centre-Right think tank Policy Exchange claims it found the literature in a quarter of the 100 mosques and Islamic institutions they visited.

    Many of the publications allegedly called on British Muslims to segregate themselves from non-Muslims and for unbelievers to be treated as second-class citizens wherever possible.

    The literature also allegedly contained repeated calls for gays to be thrown from mountains and tall buildings and for women to be subjugated.

    Policy Exchange said that among the documents were the anti-Semitic forgery, The Protocols of the Learned Elders of Zion, and other publications peddling bizarre conspiracy theories.

    Anthony Browne, the director of Policy Exchange, said: "It is clearly intolerable that hate literature is peddled at some British mosques.

    "I am sure the majority of moderate Muslims will be as horrified as everyone else that pamphlets advocating jihad by force, hatred for insufficiently observant Muslims, Christians and Jews, and segregationhave found their way into the UK's mosques."

    Policy Exchange visited more than 100 mosques and other Islamic institutions and said it found the literature was accessible both openly and "under the counter". Altogether some 80 books and pamphlets were collected over the course of a year.

    Many of the institutions were among the best funded and most active of Britain's 1,500 or so Islamic establishments. In several cases they had received official visits from politicians and even members of the royal family.

    Dr Yunes Teinaz, of the London Central Mosque, said: "Any book or literature like this found in the mosque will reflect the views of the author and not at all the view of the mosque." He added that the bookshop in the mosque was not run by the mosque, but was a franchise.

    Iqbal Sacranie, a former secretary general of the Muslim Council of Great Britain, criticised the report. He said: "The majority of Muslims will totally dismiss this because it is written by the Policy Exchange, who have an agenda to denigrate the mainstream of Islam in this country.

    "If there is any material which falls foul of the law, then the law should take its course. We cannot accept messages of hate - there is zero tolerance on that. But it is irresponsible to target religious texts and take them out of context. These texts can be found not just in mosques but in ordinary bookshops - the report overlooks that

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