The excellent documentary by Robb Leech on the radicalisation and the imprisoning of his brother, Richard Dart, highlights a range of issues that have been picked up within this article, produced by Faith Matters.
A section in the documentary focused on the actions of the East London mosque and how members of Anjem Choudhary’s group sometimes entered the mosque and fomented and agitated within it.
The Communications Officer, Salman, was shown in the documentary highlighting how mosque worshippers chased away supporters of Anjem Choudhary and how the mosque effectively policed itself against people promoting hate and extremism. These actions, Salman stated, were rarely picked up in the headlines around the East London mosque which had painted the mosque in a negative light, whilst not reporting on these positive steps against extremism.
Salman also went on to highlight the link between Anjem Choudhary, press headlines and anti-Muslim hate material which the mosque received. Salman mentioned that when there were press headlines around Muslims or around Anjem Choudhary, the mosque received hate mail and some examples were shown in the documentary. It seems that receipt of hate mail was not a new occurrence and that the mosque employees, sadly, had grown accustomed to it. Additionally, Salman also mentioned that he believed some press journalists ‘had a speed dial’ button to Anjem Choudhary and when they wanted an inflammatory quote, it was him that they called.
Robb Leech’s documentary is a depressing insight into how the vulnerabilities of young men are abused. The documentary also re-enforces the fact that young men need support mechanisms in place around them if they are to have a future free from manipulation by charismatic individuals. Sadly, history tells us that such groups and causes, may not be the last.