15 April 2017

Children taken to meet Islamic preacher who had ‘promoted and encouraged religious violence’

A primary school took children on a trip to meet an Islamic preacher, just months after the High Court ruled the imam an ‘extremist’ who had ‘promoted and encouraged religious violence’.

The visits by state school students, aged eight and nine, to meet Shakeel Begg, the imam at the mosque attended by the killers of Lee Rigby, has provoked widespread outrage.

Mr Begg, chief imam at Lewisham Islamic Centre, was described in a High Court judgment at the end of October as a “Jekyll and Hyde character”. Mr Justice Haddon-Cave also warned that Mr Begg’s role as imam put him in a position to “plant the seed of Islamic extremism in a young mind”.

One expert said it was “shocking and unacceptable” that a school was arranging visits to a known extremist and accused it of ‘woeful neglect’.

"It is shocking and frankly unacceptable that any school should be arranging visits with anyone associated with extremism."

Details of the visit were posted on the mosque’s website including photographs of the imam with the children sat attentively on the floor. [The Telegraph] Read more