Ken Livingstone to make London a beacon for Islamic values
London mayoral candidate Ken Livingstone has vowed to make the capital city a ‘beacon' of Islamic values.
In a speech last Friday at the North London Central Mosque, also known as the Finsbury Park Mosque, the Labour candidate said that he was determined to “educate the mass of Londoners” about Islam.
“I want to spend the next four years making sure that every non-muslim in London knows and understands [its] words and message. That will help to cement our city as a beacon that demonstrates the meaning of the words of the Prophet”, he said.
Running for mayor for the fourth time, Mr Livingstone spoke to assembled muslims at the controversial mosqueand described Mohammed’s words in his last sermon as “an agenda for all humanity.”
The ex-mayor also promised that he would be making life “a bit easier financially” for the muslim population.
North London Central Mosque
North London Central Mosque was once controlled by Abu Hamza, a notorious recruiter for terrorism. He was removed in 2003, although the mosque is still dogged by allegations of links to extremist groups.
The mosque is now controlled by the Muslim Association of Britain, which has previously been linked to the banned terror group Hamas. Azzam Tamimi, who has acted as spokesman for the current leadership, is on record for expressing support for suicide bombings.
One of the current directors of the mosque, Mohammed Sawalha, has supported attacks on Israel’s allies, which includes UK troops. The BBC has described him as a former senior figure of Hamas who is “said to have masterminded much of Hamas’s political and military strategy”.
Ken and Islam
Mr Livingstone has often been linked to fundamentalist Islam.
In 2010, he campaigned against his own party’s candidate in the London Borough of Tower Hamlets and backed an independent candidate, Lutfur Rahman, who had been previously fired by the Labour party for links to the Islamic Forum of Europe (IFE), an extremist group.
The IFE believes in sharia law, jihad and creating an "Islamic social and political order" in Britain.
In the course of his mayoralty, Mr Livingstone gave hundreds of thousands of pounds to the East London Mosque, which is controlled by the IFE. IFE activists championed him in the 2008 mayoral election. Azad Ali, the IFE's community affairs co-ordinator, helped run “Muslims 4 Ken”, which encouraged large numbers of muslims to vote for Mr Livingstone.
It is alleged by the Daily Telegraph that, on his IFE blog, Mr Ali praised a key mentor of Osama bin Laden, described al-Qaeda as a "myth," and justified the killing of British troops in Iraq.