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Finsbury Park Mosque ‘Imprisons’ Journalist


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finsbury-park-mosque-imprisons-journalistHarry's Place:

August 25th 2014


Mohammed Kozbar, manager and trustee of Finsbury Park Mosque, recently ‘imprisoned’ Al Arabiya journalist Ben Flanagan. Video taken by Flanagan, posted on the Al Arabiya website, records Kozbar’s refusal to let Flanagan leave after conducting an interview.


According to Flanagan, Kozbar expressed displeasure with Flanagan’s questions about the mosque’s connections to the Muslim Brotherhood. Flangan recounts:


I asked if the mosque had any links to the Muslim Brotherhood, an organization that has come under the scrutiny of the British government and is banned in Egypt, Saudi Arabia and the UAE. Kozbar quickly became defensive, saying that this was not the agreed subject of the interview. I argued that any political affiliations of the mosque management and trustees seemed to me very much on-topic; Kozbar reluctantly answered some questions on the matter.


But things took a turn for the worst immediately after the interview. Kozbar demanded a copy of the interview tape, something I said I was happy to provide on the spot. But as I was in the process of complying with that request, Kozbar called the police, saying that he was suspicious of my journalistic credentials. The door of his office was then locked, effectively imprisoning me in the mosque.


I then spent the next 30 minutes asking to be let out of the room, with Kozbar and another man who did not identify himself refusing to let me go. I too dialed “999” to alert police that I was being held there against my will.




I would make a bad reporter. As soon as he locked the door I would have kicked him in the groin.....hard.

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