In 2009 the Green Lane Mosque invited two men, Sheikh Faisal Al-Jassim and Sheikh Abdul Aziz As-Sadhan, to lecture at their Winter Conference. Muslim liberals claimed that the two men had a history of voicing anti-semitic, sectarian and jihahist sentiments. In the case of the former they attributed the claim that…

…the Jews are among the most potent of those enemies who do not spare any effort in fighting [Islam] and corrupting its people…

As well as the assertion that…

…jihad is fighting to crush polytheism and raise the word of Allah and make governance in the earth according to the sharia of Allah…This is the mujahid for the sake of Allah to whom The Prophet has pinned many rewards…

The latter, meanwhile, is said to have insisted that…

History testifies that the band of Jews were responsible for every disorder and fierce war whether directly or by preparing it by night or by encouraging it…and among them are the first and second world wars which the Jews were responsible for igniting their flames…

The Mosque released a statement that denied that he was he was an extremist but, as I observed, didn’t question the authenticity of their critics’ citations. Thus, their protestations were essentially worthless. Claiming that someone could hold those views and be a moderate is like saying that a car can periodically catch fire but remain safe.

Passing by the website of the Mosque I saw that two years on Al-Jassim has returned: he’s going to address a seminar next month. Browsing further, I stumbled onto a page that lists the “visiting scholars” and “students of knowledge” that they’re proud to boast. Al-Jassim is there, along with As-Sadhan, and what a crowd of totalists and supremacists they are among.

There is Abdurraheem Green: a theocrat who has proffered the view that homosexuals and fornicators should endure “a slow and painful death by stoning”. There is Murtaza Khan who’s loudly endorsed the execution of gays and was exposed by Channel 4 as warning Muslims that they “have become Jews in [their] clothing, Jews in [their] eating, Jews in everything [they] do” and proclaimed that “these people are enemies to us”. There is Assim al-Hakim, who runs a useful question and answer series where he’s endorsed female genital mutilation; claimed that wives can never resist the sexual advances of their husbands; demanded that apostastes should be killed and joined his theocratic comrades in abusing homosexuals – or “animals” as he prefers to know them.

Then there’s Bilal Philips, whose textbook, Contemporary Issues, offers his brutal prescriptions in a manner that, if nothing else, is convenient and honest. He suggests that girls are ready for marriage at puberty; wives must sleep with their husbands when they’re ordered to and may be hit if they’re rebellious; thieves should have their limbs sliced off; apostates, adulterers and gays should be executed and, er, UFOs may be evidence of extraterrestrial prophets of Allah. (The latter is hardly objectionable but it entertained me after a gruelling read.)

The very Imam of the Mosque, Abu Usama, was one of the preachers whose hateful and supremacist words were exposed by Undercover Mosque (which, though criticised, was later vindicated by Ofcom). Yet, and I guess this is the punchline, the “about” page on their website insists that they “warn against extremism in all its forms”. It’s been common, in these fearful times, to elide “extremism” with advocacy for and complicity in acts of terrorism. Robert Lambert, since discredited after it was revealed that he’d posed as a activist and actually spawned children in this guise while an undercover cop, was the loudest proponent of this view: denouncing criticism of theocratic views and deeds as a distraction from the task of combatting blokes with bombs. Yet who says this is the only harm we have to fear? Whether the opinions of these men inspire terrorists or not – and that’s a question for another day – they’re promoters of a lot of other heinous deeds that spoil lives across our country and the world: honour crimes; anti-semitism; the mutilation of young women; the bullying of apostates; the spread of child marriage and, in broader terms, the growth of a mindset that’s nakedly hostile to the traditions and values of society to such an extent that it renders coexistence a divided and rancorous state of affairs in which the aggression is only barely passive.