Councillor slams Muslim lecture New York in flames' poster
PUBLISHED: 15:11 31 December 2008 | UPDATED: 13:55 05 October 2010
A POSTER showing New York being destroyed by meteors from the sky—to promote a New Year's Day end of time' lecture at the East London mosque—has been condemned by the Opposition on Tower Hamlets council. The mosque is allowing organisers to run the all-day event including a video link-up with controversial Imam Anwar al-Awlaki, who America says had connections with New York's 9/11 attacks
By Else Kvist
A POSTER showing New York being destroyed by meteors from the sky—to promote a New Year’s Day end of time’ lecture at the East London mosque—has been condemned by the Opposition on Tower Hamlets council.
The mosque and Islamic centre is allowing organisers to run the all-day event including a video link-up with controversial Imam Anwar al-Awlaki, who America says had connections with New York’s 9/11 attacks.
Al-Awlaki, who gives his talk by video link from Yemen, was named by America’s Department for Homeland Security for having acted as a spiritual advisor’ to three of the men involved in 2001’s September 11 attacks.
Now the poster advertising tomorrow’s event at Whitechapel—showing meteors crash down on Manhattan, setting fire to the city and shattering the Statue of Liberty—has been slammed by the Tory Opposition leader on the local authority.
“The poster strikes me as extremely inappropriate,” Cllr Peter Golds told the East London Advertiser today (Dec-31).
“It would be very disturbing if an event was to be held which damaged the good work the mosque has done. The mosque plays an important role in the life of Tower Hamlets.”
The US Under Secretary for Home Defence, Charles Allen, has accused al-Awlaki of using video links to incite terrorism.
He said in an address in October at Nashville, Tennessee: “Anwar al-Awlaki, an Al Qaida supporter and former spiritual leader to three of the September 11 hijackers, targets US Muslims with radical online lectures, encouraging terrorist attacks from his new home in Yemen.
“Al Qaida continues to target American Muslims susceptible to supporting violence in the name of religion.”
The US embassy in London declined to comment on the New Year’s Day event.
But an East London Mosque spokesman said: “Mr Awlaki has not been proven guilty in a court of law. Everyone is entitled to their point of view.
“The subject matter is about judgement and the afterlife, a common theme in many religions.”
The meteors reining down on New York in the poster referred to the end of the world’ which had no official reference to September 11, according to the mosque.
An American embassy spokesman in London said: “The US is a strong supporter of free speech—but that comes with responsibility.
“Three thousand people from 90 countries died on September 11.”