Update: 25th June 2011 : 

The Madrasah opened and about 45 parents arrived for the restarted Girls' Madrasah. The parents asked the new Head Teacher Abu Abdillah questions regarding the new format. He explained that the Academy would concentrate on the teaching of the Qur'an and later start Arabic and Islamic Studies. Some parents asked if their children would be treated well, and be allowed to go to the toilet, as the previous management had caused difficulty in this regard. Others asked if their children would be hit. The Head Teacher explained that such practises would not be allowed, and regular feedback would be provided to the parents. Many parents took additional application forms for their friends and neighbours. We encourage parents to apply as soon as possible before full capacity is reached.

On Wednesday 20th June 2012, after maghrib prayer, a Public Consultation Meeting was held in the mosque in order to liaise with the local worshippers who frequent the masjid on a daily basis. About 75 local people attended. The current situation with regards to the statutory investigation by the Charity Commission was explained to the people, and the background to Usama Hasan's complaint and dispute with Mosque Trustees. Further, it was explained how Dr Suhaib Hasan was dismissed following his continued disregard for the interests of the Trust, through his support for his son Usama Hasan.

The mosque worshippers asked questions about the background to the dispute and others gave comments about their own personal experiences with the previous management. One brother stated that "Everyone who has been here must have a horror story about the previous management ... for 15 years they never consulted with the people the way these brothers [Trustees] are doing."

Some attendees mentioned that they came to the mosque just to pray, and did not want to get involved in the management dispute. The Trustees responded by stating that they have a responsibility to inform the worshippers of the situation and decisions that have been taken. The Trust has tried for a number of years to privately resolve the problems at the mosque, but this has not borne fruit. Also, it is only if the local Community is well informed of the goings on at the masjid that they will be able to contribute positively to the running of the mosque.

Other attendees thanked the Trustees for the actions taken so far, and requested that new activities be started at the mosque with the involvement of all the diverse communities in the locality. The Trustees promised to appoint new sub-committees to arrange such activities, and new Trustees may be selected from those sub-committees.

One worshipper stated that the actions taken by the Trust were long overdue. Another asked about problems faced on the women's side where certain individuals are known to intimidate and harass worshippers. The Trust responded that security would be deployed in the ladies section in order to prevent such behaviour in future. A further comment was made that in the current climate if a person has a dispute with his neighbour then they accuse them of being "extremists" and "terrorists" in order to convince the authorities that they are in the right.

Others welcomed the greater transparency now being shown in running the mosque, and the Trust also decided to place a Suggestions Box outside the office so that the mosque worshippers are freely able to voice their concerns and suggestions for improvement to the way the mosque is run.

Future regular public consultations were promised to ensure the Community is able to keep in touch with the mosque management.

 

PRESS RELEASE

For Immediate Release

12th June 2012

 

Al-Tawhid Mosque Refutes charges of Extremism

In response to the Charity Commission announcing its intention to investigate complaints it has received about Masjid Al Tawhid and subsequent media coverage, the Masjid denies and will vigorously defend itself from all accusations of extremism and links to terrorism.

The Vice Chairman of the Mosque Mehmud Patel said, “We are surprised by the claims and the Charity Commission's decision to investigate on grounds of alleged links to extremism. The Trustees asked the Commission in June 2011 to investigate an internal dispute amongst trustees regarding issues of management and control, and they refused to do so.”

Saghir Hussain, the lawyer acting for the Trust, said “We believe that the complaints are motivated by political and personal agendas, and ask the Commission to make available to us the written complaint so those motives become clear, and can be challenged legally. Within the Muslim Community accusations of extremism are becoming common, as a way for people to settle scores and gain advantage in organisational and personal disputes. We urge the Charity Commission to exercise caution and deal with underlying issues, not headline grabbing accusations.”

Members of the Trust have been involved in a year-long dispute with Usama Hasan and his family members over control of the Mosque. Reports of historical events involving controversial speakers have all taken place under the watch of the Hasan family.

Vice Chair Mehmud Patel said “The Mosque has effectively been run as a family affair, not a charity, by Dr Suhaib Hasan and his son Usama over all these years. As the trustees tried to move away from this model of operation, there was bound to be conflict.”

The current Trust is therefore astounded that disgruntled ex-trustee Usama Hasan has chosen to attack the mosque and it's management using issues that he and his family members were clearly responsible for. We feel it is important that facts should be properly reported.

Local homeschooling group, the REAL Initiative, held a one day Science Workshop at the Masjid on Wednesday 25th April. The event was run as an outreach programme by the Science Museum. This event attracted 70 children ranging from the age of 5-12.  The parents were extremely appreciative of hosting the event locally. It was a fantastic turn out and the children thoroughly enjoyed and benefited from it. Some pictures from the event :

This is part of the session on friction titled "Get a Grip". And below is from the session on making slime :

The masjid hopes to continue providing support to local education groups such as REAL Initiative.


Masjid al-Tawhid is pleased to announce a new Islamic counselling service for women. This is a free service, offered via a trained counsellor. Please see the counselling page for details.