In an apparent act of desperation the embattled imam of Green Lane Masjid in Birmingham, England, Abu Usamah At Thahabi, has decided to take to the airwaves in order to respond to (not to be confused with refute) the damning charges of womanizing and sexual harassment launched against him last week by Briton’s Sunday Mercury. What is most significant about the 9 minute, self-serving diatribe is that at no time does Abu Usamah categorically deny the sexual allegations, though he has no problem refuting another less serious charge. Sadly, his poor, brain-washed followers have been railing against what they call “the lies of the kuffar (disbelieving) press” on a number of different threads and in the comments to this video, never stopping to realize that Abu Usamah himself never said that the story is a lie!
The above response provides a case study in all of the technic of mind control – double-speak, demagoguery, fear and intimidation, conspiracy theory and paranoid fantasies - all of which have been employed by this imam over many, many years and explains how his alleged pattern of abuse has gone unreported . The Muslims of Green Lane have already been mentally programmed to reject any information that doesn’t emanate from a Muslim source, as witnessed by the Undercover Mosque documentary wherein Abu Usamah is heard to declare that “all the kuffar lie”! But even if that paranoid assertion were to be believed, it will not insulate him from the present scandal inasmuch as the Sunday Mercury - the kuffar so to speak - are not the ones making the allegations but are only reiterating and reporting the charges made on a Muslim website, Protectmuslimsisters.com.
There is the ridiculous suggestion that some diabolical conspiracy is afoot – by whom he doesn’t say – to use the story and the allegations contained in it, to divide the Muslim community so as to destroy the spiritual blessings of Ramadan. Again, this is because the enemies of Islam in the media consistently slander certain Islamic personalities (he means principally himself), proof of which is the Mercury’s reporting that Abu Usamah advocated beating Muslim girls if they refuse to wear the hijab (head scarf) in the aforementioned documentary. Abu Usamah quite rightly defended himself against that charge because the comments were made by Muhammad Al Jibali and not him, although he did share the same panel with Al Jibali without raising an objection. In fact, Abu Usamah is quite passionate when it comes to defending himself against what he sees to be a baseless accusation, proclaiming to the public…
That’s something that I don’t believe in, that’s something that I didn’t say!
He is, in other words, calling them liars, at least on this point. His denial was clear and emphatic, creating in the minds of his devotees the logical inference that all subsequent allegations contained within the pages of the Sunday Mercury are equally untrue… without him ever explicitly saying so.
Now here is the central question; if, as the conspiracy theory goes, the Sunday Mercury set out to ruin the Ramadan of British Muslims, then why doesn’t Abu Usamah simply refute the “unsavory” sexual allegations in the same manner that he refuted the allegation above?! Indeed, if they are scurrilous and completely untrue he would have a religious obligation – indeed a duty - as imam to completely vanquish the sinister plot by coming forth and proclaiming to the world his innocence. Any normal man, not to speak of a man of religion entrusted with a congregation and a reputation to protect, upon seeing these charges in print would have come out swinging,
These allegations of womanizing and sexual harassment are completely false, it never happened because this is not my character, and my lawyer is now preparing a libel suit against my accusers.
But what does Abu Usama do? Not only does he not refute the sexual allegations, but he takes the coward’s way out by hiding behind some legalistic rules of evidence and threatening Muslims who suspect his guilt that he will take from them their good deeds and give them his evil deeds on the terrible Day of Judgement! This is the behavior of the cult leader, to resort to thuggery and demagoguery, but for Abu Usamah the tactics are no longer effective. The veil is coming down and people are starting to see that the emperor has no clothes.
If we parse his words carefully, especially his cryptic, euphemistic admission to “making mistakes”, it becomes quite obvious to anyone with half a brain that Abu Usamah is essentially admitting his guilt in this whole sordid affair. The one and only grievance he has, if we may call it that, is that the sisters who were wronged by his conduct didn’t strictly follow Islamic rules in handling the matter. He is only taking issue with the form of how the allegations were leveled, but not the substance of them.
Abu Usamah then went on to berate those Muslims who denied him the benefit of the doubt, citing the slander of the Prophet Muhammad’s wife Aisha found in the Quran. But that right is extended only to the righteous Muslims, not to a known voluptuary, serial marriage bandit, patron of whores, and seducer of his fellow Muslim’s wives, all transgressions that are well established of Abu Usama’s character from his days as imam in Philadelphia. These crimes have long been part of the public record and have also never been refuted! His blind followers in Green Lane need to wake up and smell the coffee, they’ve been had. He should have been vetted more thoroughly before he was given access to their sisters, daughters, and wives.
Abu Usamah’s “response” is really nothing more than a bunch of double-speak devoid of logic. For example, the notion that he is not “infallible” and is no different from all the other “sons and daughters of Adam” is a red herring, inasmuch as the administration at Green Lane never had that expectation when they hired him. They did expect however that the man they were entrusting with authority and prestige would not be a lech and a voluptuary.
Or again, he wants to argue that since some of the charges against him entail illegality, that the sisters he’s allegedly abused, taken advantage of, and otherwise harassed should have taken their case to the police and handled it as a purely legal matter. According to his thinking, that approach would have spared the Muslims all the fitnah (controversy and distress)they have had to contend with now. Common sense however suggests quite the opposite. Making this a police matter would only inflat the story and bring more unwanted scrutiny and notoriety to Green Lane Masjid. For sure, Abu Usamah is selling a pile of rubbish here, for he knows full well that Salafi Muslim women, having been taught forever to reject the kafir system and its man-made laws, would never even consider such a thing. Additionally, they would not want to be identified as the people who brought the law down on the community and incur its wrath.
I agree with Abu Usamah and Green Lane on one very crucial point however, and that is this; at least some of the women involved in this case must bear the responsibility for their own wrong doing and come forward and make formal charges. For as much as I can sympathize with their plight, I also recognize that Abu Usamah will continue on his corrupt path until he is stopped by responsible individuals in the Muslim community, especially his victims. The sisters must overcome the shame and stigma of what they have fallen into, band together, and stop this man before he can harm other sisters again.
And finally I ask the brothers in the administration of Green Lane Masjid to ask themselves, is holding on to Abu Usamah really worth it? Do you really want these sisters to come forward and produce their proof of the corruption of this man? Will that really serve the interests of the institution that you all have worked so hard to build. Is is possible to find mercy for these sisters and spare them the shame and embarrassment of having fallen down with this man? Isn’t it starting to become clear that making this brother the face of the community was a tragic mistake.