Almost half of Britain’s mosques are under the control of a hardline Islamic sect, whose next possible leader loathes Western values and calls on Muslims to “shed blood” for Allah, reports The Times of London.
Riyadh ul Haq, who supports armed jihad and preaches contempt for Jews, Christians and Hindus, is in line to become the spiritual leader of the Deobandi sect in Britain.
The ultra-conservative movement, which gave birth to the Taleban in Afghanistan, now runs more than 600 of Britain’s 1,350 mosques, according to a police report seen by The Times.
Ul Haq, 36, was educated and trained at an Islamic seminary in Britain and is part of a new generation of British imams who share a similar radical agenda. He heaps scorn on any Muslims who say they are “proud to be British” and argues that friendship with a Jew or a Christian makes “a mockery of Allah’s religion”.
Seventeen of Britain’s 26 Islamic seminaries are run by Deobandis and they produce 80 percent of home-trained Muslim clerics. Many had their studies funded by local education authority grants. The sect has significant representation on the Muslim Council of Britain. It is strongest in the towns and cities of the Midlands and northern England.
It is not suggested that all British Muslims who worship at Deobandi mosques subscribe to ul Haq’s message, who suggests Muslims should only “shed blood” overseas.
The Times gained access to numerous talks and sermons delivered by ul Haq and other graduates of Britain’s most influential Deobandi seminary near Bury, Greater Manchester.
Intended for a Muslim-only audience, they reveal a deep-rooted hatred of Western society, admiration for the Taleban and a passionate zeal for martyrdom “in the way of Allah”.
The seminary outlaws art, television, music and chess, demands “entire concealment” for women and views football as “a cancer that has infected our youth”.
Ul Haq, who runs an Islamic academy in Leicester and is the former imam at the Birmingham Central Mosque, declined requests by The Times to comment on the content of his sermons.
A commentator on religious radicalism in Pakistan told The Times that “blind ignorance” on the part of the British government has allowed the Deobandis to become the dominant voice of Islam in Britain’s mosques.
“You’ve allowed the takeover of the mosques,” Khaled Ahmed told The Times. “You can’t run multiculturalism like that, because that’s a way of destroying yourself. In Britain, the Deobandi message has become even more extreme than it is in Pakistan. It’s mind-boggling.”