Undercover Mosque – The Return

1st September 2008| Channel 4

A year and a half after the critically-acclaimed film, Undercover Mosque, was first screened, Dispatches goes undercover again to see if promises to remove extremist theology and teaching materials in key British Muslim institutions have been honoured. The film also investigates the role of the Saudi Arabian religious establishment in spreading hardline fundamentalist Islamic ideology in the UK – the very ideology the Government claims to be tackling.

A female reporter – ‘Sara’ – attends prayer meetings in Regent’s Park Mosque – one of the most important mosques in the country, which claims to be dedicated to moderation and dialogue with other faiths. She secretly films shocking sermons given to the women-only congregation in which female preachers recite extremist and intolerant beliefs. As hundreds of women and children come to pray, the leading preacher calls for adulterers, homosexuals, women who act like men and Muslim converts to other faiths to be killed. “Kill him, kill him. You have to kill him, you understand. This is Islam.”

Worshippers are told they must lead separate lives from non-believers and not tolerate other religions, describing Christian teachings as ‘vile and disgusting, an abomination.’ And at private invite-only prayer meetings linked to the mosque, the reporter films the same preacher issuing strict dictats on women’s personal freedoms – decreeing they must not travel far without a male member of the family to escort them, and instructing them not to integrate with British society or work in a non-Islamic environment.

In the same mosque, the reporter visits the bookshop and discovers extremist books and DVDs still on sale, promoting anti-Semitic, misogynistic and intolerant messages. Unbelievers (‘kuffaar’) are “evil, wicked, mischievous people – you can see the evil in their face” The Jews “have abominated, filthy, disgusting gross belief – their time will come like every other evil person’s time will come.” Moderate Muslims in the programme reject these teachings, and blame their presence in British mosques on the Saudis.

Narrator: Rosie Rowell
Executive Producer: David Henshaw