There is a very disturbing story in today’s Daily Telegraph told by the mother of one of the Woolwich beheading suspects, Michael Adebowale, which raises questions regarding his contacts with Woolwich Mosque and also how they dealt with him if he had indeed attended.
It appears that Adebowale’s mother, Mrs Juliet Obasuyi, a 43-year-old probation officer and a practising Christian was extremely concerned about her sons conversion to Islam and his activities once he became a Muslim.
Adebowale became increasingly radical in his views and in desperation she allegedly sent her son along to Woolwich Mosque for what she hoped was instruction on how to live as a peaceful law abiding Muslim.
The Telegraph said:
“His mother was advised by a neighbour to take him to the head of the Woolwich mosque for spiritual guidance. He was converted to Islam by the head Imam, and taken for weeks of “further training” at a centre near Cambridge.
When he returned, however, he was even more “radicalised” and his mother could no longer “get through to him”. A spokesman for the mosque said they did not know if he attended or been converted there”
This is an interesting development. A man’s mother, concerned about radicalisation, takes her son to the very mosque that made an emotional public declaration of peace and shock at the attack in Woolwich. He is then sent by the mosque to an Islamic centre near Cambridge, presumably one that is known to, or is associated with this mosque for de-radicalisation but comes back much worse.
Woolwich Mosque now have questions to answer about their involvement in this case. It may be that the Imams of Woolwich mosque are completely innocent, and that Adebowale would have been a murdering nutter anyway whatever mosque he went to. However it appears that there is the possibility that staff at Woolwich Mosque may have known of Adebowale’s propensity for religious violence but did not inform the appropriate authorities and instead sent him for ‘Islamic training’ that is alleged to have made him worse.
The Woolwich Mosque has, according to the Daily Telegraph, denied knowledge of Adebowale’s attendance at their Masjid or of having records of his conversion to Islam. It may be that he converted elsewhere, Lewisham has been mentioned, but someone, somewhere must have a record of Adebowale’s public recitation of the declaration of Islamic faith as required by Islamic Law.
The questions that need to be answered by Woolwich mosque are:
Did the attacker convert or reconvert at Woolwich?
Which Islamic centre near Cambridge was he sent to?
Was the Cambridge Centre one of those which have been pumped full of Saudi money? How much did Woolwich Mosque know about Adebowale’s radical views and what procedures did they undertake to try to soften them?
If they did know about his radicalism why didn’t they contact the Police or the Security Service?
Could this attack have been prevented if Woolwich Mosque (provided that Adebowale really did attend there) had notified either the security agencies or the Community Psychiatric Service?
I don’t want to think that Woolwich Mosque are being economical with the truth on this matter, but the Telegraph article does require us to ask questions about who Adebowale had contact with in the South East London Islamic Community.
Readers should feel some sympathy for this offender’s Mother, it seems she tried to do all she could to prevent her son from following the ideology of Islam and also from embracing Islam’s violent side. No responsible parent wants their child to grow up to be a criminal or a killer but this is what has happened to Mrs Obasuyi, despite what seems like heroic attempts to drag her son back from the brink.
Daily Telegraph interview with attackers Mother