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Last updated: 2002-09-09

The Board of Deputies is astonished that extremist Islamist groups are holding a conference in London on September 11th to celebrate the attacks on New York and Washington. The event at Finsbury Park mosque is reported to include sympathizers from al-Qa’eda among its participants.

Board Director General Neville Nagler commented: “It is astonishing that the authorities have not prevented so offensive an event. It is a calculated insult to all the victims of September 11th.The British Government has gone to war against the al-Qa’eda network in Afghanistan, and is on the verge of war in Iraq. Yet, it appears that terrorist sympathizers are free to meet in London to celebrate the attacks on the Twin Towers and discuss the way ahead for their unspeakable cause.

“We have written to the Home Secretary to express our concerns, pointing out that this conference must raise many questions among all those who support the Government in its war against terrorism. In particular, how can the UK authorities allow such a gathering of terrorist sympathizers? Why have any overseas participants not been barred from entering the UK? Will the police take action if there is any breach of the peace or incitement to racial hatred? Is such a conference compatible with the charitable status of Finsbury Park mosque?

“We trust that the Home Secretary will assure us that there are effective powers to deal with terrorist organizations associated with al-Qa’eda and that action will be taken whenever they break the law.”