Mosque Committee Members Resign Over 'Threats'

3 February 2016, 16:17 | Updated: 3 February 2016, 17:51

Seven members of the executive committee of Scotland's largest Mosque have resigned over alleged threats to their families.

It follows a dispute between the committee of Glasgow Central Mosque over planned reforms and previous practices.

The Office of the Scottish Charity Regulator and a financial investigator have been looking into loans and the work of previous trustees dating back to the mosque's founding in 1984.

Members of the current committee, led by general secretary Nabeel Shaikh, have now resigned "due to a number of people undermining day-to-day operations, meetings and even sabotaging mosque property''.

The resignations leave four committee members in place with more to be appointed in March.

A message from the resigning committee members on the mosque website read: "We must mentally separate the term 'elders' from the people, irrespective of age or gender, who are responsible for the community's welfare and progression.

"When you have the wrong person in the wrong job then the results will be less than favourable, and this must change. Our community is young, diverse and growing. The mosque must reflect the needs of its congregation.

"It is time for the Muslims of Glasgow to ask those who have been in power to be answerable to them and demand justice.

"This should start with more members of the executive committee and property trustees resigning for the damage they have done to this once-great institution.

"We can no longer sit in silence and watch our mosques be run and managed by those who refuse to be transparent, inclusive and accountable. There is no vision or strategy to tackle our community's issues.''

Solicitor Aamer Anwar has been advising the resigning committee members.

He said: "It is a real tragedy that those who bravely led the calls for equality and diversity at Scotland's largest mosque have resigned.

"The fact that they did so because of alleged threats of violence towards their families is abhorrent and criminal.

"This committee had the decency and courage to expose corruption, misogyny and racism, but certain imams and elders tried to destroy them.

"The real danger is that this old guard can never be expected to tackle extremism whilst they remain stuck in the 'dark ages'.

"Today is an extremely sad and shameful day for Scotland's Muslims, but it's time the silent majority spoke up.''

No-one from the mosque was immediately available.