Didsbury Mosque has hit back at criticism it had received during the Manchester Arena bombing inquiry
The Mosque on Burton Road which was attended by the Arena bomber Salman Abedi said that it had been the victim of “misleading comments” heard at the inquiry.
In a long post on its Facebook page it laid out its response to misleading comments by one of the lawyers (John Cooper of Slater Gordon) representing families at the Manchester Arena Inquiry and by Dominic Scally of Counterterrorism (CT), reported in some media.
Whilst it is stated that Didsbury Mosque did not support violence or have anything to do with the attacks, their subsequent comments still attempt to associate Didsbury Mosque with extremism and radicalisation.
It claims that it is open-source knowledge that one of the families, represented by Mr. Cooper has a relationship with the government, and said that it will be raising with the Inquiry the possibility of a conflict of interest.
It adds that it is made clear Didsbury Mosque had no role in the radicalisation of Salman Abedi nor ignored violent extremism
Further more it says the Mosque cannot be held responsible for the fallout of a decision of the British Government, working with some Libyan groups to remove the Gaddafi government, which encouraged some Manchester Libyans to go and fight in Libya, creating a radicalising environment and extremism among some in Manchester.
“ Given that environment, the Didsbury Mosque believes we successfully kept Libyan politics out of the mosque. Didsbury Mosque has been aware of such overseas politics and tried its best to keep it out of the mosque since the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan in 1979. Mosques are places of worship and should not become places where intelligence gathering on people’s lives and politics should take place.”
In another point they say that it is disingenuous to try to give the impression Didsbury Mosque has not condemned the Manchester Arena attack, and bizarre that the Charity Commission should be asked to revoke our charitable status on that basis.
“We made it clear that this barbaric act had nothing to do with Didsbury Mosque, Islam, or the Quran, immediately after the attack. This was in front of the world’s media which had a greater reach than the few people who visit our website. The main Imam of the mosque at the time also condemned it on his social media.
The Mosque says that it will be sling Dominic Scally to provide evidence to substantiate that Didsbury Mosque co-operated less than other mosques in Manchester prior to 2016.
“We have had a close working relationship with the police for a very long time and will now provide evidence of that relationship to the Inquiry.” adding that The truth is that according to our knowledge at no point has anyone from the police, CT, or M15 ever contacted us with concerns about the Abedi’s.