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Hospital Suspends Muslim Chaplain

Hospital Suspends Muslim Chaplain

Author: Editorial
Publication: The Statesman
Date: September 22, 2007
URL: http://www.thestatesman.net/page.arcview.php?date=2007-09-22&usrsess=1&clid=3&id=198188

A Muslim preacher who chanted "Allah-o-Akbar" (God is great) while showing children a film that depicted planes flying into the World Trade Centre has been removed from his post as chaplain at a Queen Elizabeth Hospital.

Mr Usman Ali, 30, a former member of the now-banned al-Muhajiroun radical movement, was suspended after police expressed serious concerns. Before losing his job, Mr Ali had already upset people during Friday prayers by inviting a guest preacher who praised pro-Taliban rebels in Pakistan as martyrs.

The preacher, a British-born father of four, had previously been banned for life from a local mosque, the Greenwich Islamic Centre. The institution spent at least £30,000 taking legal action to the county court so that Ali could be forbidden from attending the mosque.

Court papers claim he showed a video to children in the mosque containing clips of the 9/11 incident and chanted "Allah-o-Akbar". The mosque said it tried informally to warn the hospital about its concerns months ago.

According to the report, the BBC attended a session at the Queen Elizabeth's prayer room where worshipers became uncomfortable hearing radical views expressed by a guest preacher who hailed the militants of the Lal Masjid in Pakistan as defenders of Islam.

The hospital trust said: "We had no allegations made about this man's behaviour but as soon as the police raised their concerns we took action."

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