28th August, 2023

Green Lane Mosque champions “hugely exciting” new youth centre, as misleading social media posts seek to undermine project of “game-changing” importance

Green Lane Mosque and Community Centre (GLMCC) has responded to hostile social media attacks by reiterating the “game-changing” importance of the innovative Youth Futures Centre it is poised to build, and by expressing deep concern about how a short video clip is being used to discredit the youth centre project and the mosque.

GMLCC faced a social media backlash after a 25-second video clip was posted online last week. Taken selectively from a 45-minute lecture two years ago by one of the mosque’s imams, the highly misleading clip has been shared to try to discredit the mosque following the award of a Youth Investment Fund grant. The posting of the clip has resulted in hate mail and threats being directed at the mosque, leading officers from West Midlands Police (WMP) to visit the premises several times to show support. Management have advised staff and volunteers to be vigilant – particularly the imams and female staff.

“False stories, malicious social media attacks and the torrent of hate they invite can put our staff and congregation in real danger,” says Sister Umm Talha, a spokesperson for the mosque. “We and the police need to take these attacks very seriously because we cannot forget that ten years ago an 82-year-old man was brutally murdered in an anti-Muslim hate crime while returning home from evening prayers at GLMCC. This latest round of social media abuse and hate mail will not deter us from the extensive youth and community work we do. We are grateful to the police for their concern and support at this worrying time.”

The full 45-minute lecture that the video clip comes from was a wide-ranging theological discourse that included the recounting of events in Arabia over 1,400 years ago to provide historical context. “The imam was giving a talk on faith and forgiveness,” Sister Umm Talha further explains. “The video clip was edited and lacks context. He was reading and explaining topics from a classical theological book. When reading this material, he did not suggest that these practices have a place in UK society. Far from advocating violence, he denounced cultural practices like so-called ‘honour killings’ in his lecture. Muslim teachings are clear that it is not permissible to engage in practices that go against the laws of the land, whether in the UK or abroad.”

GLMCC promptly removed the entire video from all its online platforms over two years ago when the edited clip that has now resurfaced was first made and shared, to prevent any unintended misunderstanding. The mosque rejects violent extremism and hate crime and actively encourages respect and tolerance between communities in its extensive work with many different organisations and faith groups in the West Midlands and beyond. The leadership of the mosque has begun an investigation of issues raised by recent media and social media coverage, pledging to address any legitimate concerns while also standing firm against misrepresentation, intolerance, and Islamophobia.

“We at Green Lane Mosque have been deeply rooted in inner-city Birmingham for decades,” says Mohammed Saeed, chair of trustees. “We are very committed to working with others to build a better city, and a brighter future for young people, Muslim and non-Muslim. The new Youth Futures Centre we plan to establish is an extension of this, a potentially game-changing project that I think is hugely exciting. What is sometimes overlooked is the important work we already do in providing a safe and supportive environment for disadvantaged young people in this deprived area of inner-city Birmingham, guiding them away from the perils of crime, drugs, and violence and doing all we can to help them realise their true potential.

“Our mosque has faced challenges in the past, but I sincerely believe we have made significant progress in recent years. Our leadership, management and policies have all gone through substantial changes, acknowledging the need for reform and responding accordingly.

“There will always be people with malicious intentions trying to undermine the positive work we do, but I want to acknowledge that there may still be legitimate issues that we need to address. We are reviewing the concerns raised in recent media and social media coverage to learn lessons and make any changes that may be needed to our policies in areas such as speaker engagement.

“But we are also determined to continue and expand our positive community work because we know how much it is needed and valued by our community. The planned Youth Futures Centre will offer a safe haven for all local young people in a neglected community where gang crime and anti-social behaviour are significant concerns. It stands as the only project in Greater Birmingham set to receive support from the Youth Investment Fund, an investment that our whole community can benefit enormously from.”

GLMCC has been at the forefront of civic engagement, community service, and interfaith collaboration in Birmingham for many years. In the past, the mosque has categorically spoken out against violence and extremism. Since 2019, speakers at the mosque have been required to sign and adhere to an Anti-Extremism Policy. In some cases, the organisation has removed historical materials from its online platforms that contradicted its values or had the potential to mislead or offend. The mosque’s own investigation now underway will review this important policy and its implementation, along with other policies and activities relevant to the concerns raised.

The mosque has reached out to the Youth Investment Fund to provide context that is missing from recent media reports and social media posts and to highlight once again the substantial benefits that the transformative new centre can offer to young people in one of Birmingham’s most deprived areas.

Once funding is secured, the centre will become a hub for the flourishing of creative arts, nurturing young people towards success, and providing mental health support. This new addition will align with and enhance GLMCC’s already extensive community initiatives, which encompass a food bank, homeless shelter, domestic violence support, mental health counselling, free community clinics, financial aid for those facing hardship, sports activities for women and young people, job fairs, and much more.



The YouTube video below, our latest Annual Report and the links provided to various items of recent media coverage give a good basic overview of GLMCC and all that its extensive, progressive, and positive community work entails.



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Shaykh Abu Usaamah

Shaykh Abu Usamah was born in New Jersey in 1964. He embraced Islam in 1986 and went on to study in the Islamic University of Madinah for eight years where he graduated from the College of Da’wah and Usool-ad-Din.

 Shaykh Abu Usamah has been very active in da’wah since the day he embraced Islam. He has been the Imam of various mosques in the United States and in the United Kingdom.
 Shaykh Abu Usamah’s zeal and eagerness in conveying the true message of Islam has led him to many parts of the world, delivering lectures and seminars, as well as translating for many scholars and du’aat from the Arab world.
Abu Usamah has been blessed in studying with some of the greatest scholars of our time and is currently the Imam of a masjid in Leeds, UK.