The East London Mosque is one of the largest and most influential of Islamic institutions in Britain. It has a Muslim Centre, a meeting place which acts a bit like a college, offering lectures and sermons at which like-minded people may meet. One who gave lectures there was Anwar al-Awlaki, the American-born Islamist imam whose fingerprints have turned up in more than one place. He groomed Maj. Nidal Hasan, the Fort Hood killer, and we now learn that the Detroit would-be bomber, Umar Abdulmutallab, while a student in London between 2005 and 2008 listened to a number of video-link lectures given by al-Awlaki at this mosque’s Muslim Centre. By then, al-Awlaki was communicating at long distance from Yemen where he had taken refuge, and become affiliated to al-Qaeda. And when Abdul Mutallab himself went to Yemen where he was trained and equipped as a suicide bomber, he had personal contact with al-Awlaki, evidently his mentor.
The authorities ought to have been able to pick this up. Far worse than their laxity, however, is the fact that in the past two years, according to the Sunday Telegraph, the Muslim Centre has received at least 60,000 pounds from a government initiative known as Preventing Violent Extremism. The intention is to fund moderates to oppose extremists, but the very opposite has happened. Violent extremism has been subsidized. In the last two years, al-Awlaki has addressed at least two gatherings at the Centre via video-link, including one last year called “The End of Time,” advertised with a poster showing the destruction of New York.
At the same time, I have been reading David J. Rusin on a website called islamist-watch.org. He reports how “misguided” the Preventing Violent Extremism program has been. Close to a million pounds has been handed out to Islamist organizations that are propagating Muslim supremacy, hatred of non-Muslims, and terrorism. It beggars belief that politicians and civil servants can be idiotic enough to device a crack-brained scheme of the kind. What naïvety, what self-deception! PVE positively invites trickery and misappropriation of money that non-Muslims are unable to supervise, let alone control. All those involved are a danger to the public and ought to be summarily fired, yet as far as I can find out, they have not even been identified. What will it take to bring these people to their senses? David J. Rusin sums up with the unanswerable judgement: “Only one adjective properly describes a government that funds those who seek its destruction: suicidal.”