Well, yes, they got the money, but mosque leaders deny any links to “extremism.” As everyone knows, people donate to causes they don’t support all the time, don’t they?
Exeter Mosque is being asked to reveal details of donations from a radical cleric, with fears it has benefited from terrorism-related activity.
Sheikh Sadiq Al-Ghariani – who has been expelled from the UK over his hard-line views – is known to have donated an undisclosed sum of money to Exeter Mosque.
But videos later emerged of the controversial Sheikh allegedly expressing support for al-Qaeda aligned militia groups in Libya.
Now, a group representing the Muslim community in Exeter, has launched a plea to find out exactly how much money was donated by Al-Ghariani amid fears the mosque on York Road could have benefited from terrorist-related activities..
A petition, put online by members of the community, claims the donations from Mr Ghariani came to a total of almost £250,000.
And Tallha Abdulrazaq, the son of a former trustee of the Exeter Mosque, says the scale of support was laid bare when Mr Gharini’s first donation of £50,000 was presented in cash at a meeting of the trustees.
He said: “If he is linked to these extremist groups, and there’s a lot of evidence that suggests that he is, do we really want to be taking his money and being associated with him? No.
“We do not want him in our community. The cash just appeared and was put on the table as £50,000 in cash, which obviously started suspicions.”
In 2015, the same year the cleric was reportedly making donations to the mosque in Exeter, he can be seen allegedly praising the violence of jihadi fighters in Libya.
In one video he says: “Those of them who die, are dying for the sake of God.”
Trustees of the mosque said they “do not have any links to any form of extremism” and claimed they were not aware of Mr Ghariani’s activities in Libya.
But the spotlight has now fallen on Shaheed Ul Hassan, who has been a trustee of Exeter’s Mosque since it was set up in the 1970s.
He is said to be the one who brought the £50,000 to the mosque but has declined requests for an interview.
However, at a meeting at the mosque, he and the other trustees confirmed they had received money from Mr Ghariani, but would not say how much….