The National Jewish Assembly strongly condemns former Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn’s recent comments praising Finsbury Park Mosque as a “place of peace, hope, and solidarity.” These statements come in the wake of revelations that the mosque has hosted antisemitic Imams and officials, and that tax funds have been allocated to such institutions.
The mosque’s history of hosting individuals who spread antisemitic hate and incitement is deeply concerning. From the Egyptian Imam’s call to “liberate” Al-Aqsa mosque from the “filth of the Jews” to the mosque’s general secretary praising Hamas founder Sheikh Ahmed Yassin, such actions contribute to the proliferation of hate speech that has no place in our society.
Gary Mond, Chairman of the National Jewish Assembly, stated, “Hate speech being promoted by places of religious worship, whether taxpayer-funded or not, is utterly unacceptable in our society and should be prosecuted with the full force of the law. It serves ultimately as a cause of violence, especially against Jews in this country. Hate crimes against Jews constitute about 25% of all such incidents although Jews comprise barely 0.5% of the UK population.”
Mond further emphasised, “Those who indulge in hate speech belong in prison, and institutions that facilitate it should be closed. The fact that public funds appear to support mosques which host hate speakers begs questions. It is not just how this happened, but how deep the problem really is, and needs a full investigation.”
Tax-funded institutions should adhere to principles of tolerance and respect for all members of society. The National Jewish Assembly urges the relevant authorities to thoroughly investigate and take appropriate action against any institution promoting hate speech. The NJA believes in fostering unity and understanding in our communities, and this cannot be achieved when places of worship become platforms for incitement.
The NJA calls upon all communal leaders and organisations to stand against hate and bigotry, and to work together to create an environment of tolerance and mutual respect.