The North London Central (NLC) Mosque on St. Thomas’s Road, Finsbury Park was at the centre of police investigations into alleged links with Al-Qaeda in 2002.
It is best known for its contacts to controversial cleric Abu Hamza Al-Masri, who was jailed for seven years in 2006 after being found guilty of inciting murder and racial hatred during his sermons held at the Mosque.
“The community has been rebuilt”
A representative from the NLC Mosque was not available for comment but Mohamed Abdelhalim, Operations Manager at nearby ‘Muslim Welfare House’ said, “after the damaging links to Al-Qaeda and terrorism, the congregations at both our Mosques became a lot smaller. But it doesn’t affect us anymore, the community has been rebuilt.”
Despite an increase in the numbers of worshippers at both Mosques in the Finsbury Park area and a new management structure at the NLC Mosque, some locals are still worried about the legacy of Islamic extremism in the area.
A member of the congregation at the NLC Mosque who wished to remain anonymous remembers being turned away in 2002 by supporters of the extremist Imam Abu Hamza. Since that time he said,
“Things at the Mosque have improved greatly, but I am still worried. You cannot tell what might happen. It’s very likely there are still extremists in the area, which is a problem for everyone”.
By Nick Higgins