The East London Mosque and London Muslim Centre has hosted many hundreds of speakers and events over the past decade.

As befits a religious centre serving a large and diverse community, these range from Orthodox Muslim theologians, to interfaith gatherings, visits by politicians and foreign dignitaries, as well as hosting numerous community associations and charities.

The work we tackle includes primary and secondary school education, help for the deaf, NGOs delivering aid overseas, literacy projects, domestic violence projects, support for projects to prevent violent crime, talks from notable legal figures, and much more. We recently opened the largest women's centre of any Muslim institution in the UK.

As a result, we have developed one of the most comprehensive booking procedures of any mainstream Muslim religious centre in the UK.

There are still some from within what appears to be a network of ‘Counter-Jihadist’(anti-Muslim, fearful of Muslims ‘taking over’) organisations that wish to prevent our acceptance within the wider community of faiths. Recently, one self-promoting organisation from within this Counter-Jihadist fringe produced a poorly-researched report on the interfaith industry, in which it attempted to smear us, and the entire interfaith sector, with multiple (often deeply-flawed or demonstrably false) claims.

Such claims include bold-faced lies that we have hosted several speakers who have never appeared at our premises, or that our chief imam signed the so-called ‘Istanbul Declaration’(he didn’t, as you can see here). At other times, conservative (orthodox) Muslim speakers are attacked simply for having quoted from the Qu’ran or Hadith (sayings attributed to the Prophet Muhammad, pbuh), with statements taken far out of their original context.

Those making such accusations often self-reference their accusations from within a small band of the same Counter-Jihadist websites, seeking to spread pernicious falsehoods – even when we have provably denied such claims.

Having introduced an extremely tight booking procedure, hosted workshops and training for our trustees, and devoted considerable resources to vetting speakers, we would like to reassure our community and our partners that we take our responsibilities in this arena extremely seriously.

We have met with Jewish groups to tackle anti-Semitism; we have tackled the issue of ‘Muslim Patrols’, speaking out against the intolerance of al-Muhajiroun; and we have met with members of the LGBT community, too, to make clear our opposition to homophobic violence. We engage in many activities with our faith and interfaith friends – from working with an imams and rabbis council, to hosting Christians during Eid celebrations, and visiting others’ places of worship – and continue to tackle many issues of possible division, in order to ensure our communities live side-by-side with as little conflict as possible.

If anyone has concerns about a third-party event, organisation or speaker we urge them to contact our booking team direct, and we will deal with their concerns as swiftly as possible. We maintain an open-door policy for visitors and would be happy to welcome those who may have concerns to take a tour of our facilities (please contact the media/events team for details).


Last updated: 29/11/2013

> Download copy of full statement