Inayat Bunglawala understands why attempts have been made to eject Usama Hasan from his mosque:
Having said that I can well understand why many in the local community have taken a stand against Usama Hasan. I myself was very dismayed when I found out a few years ago that he had agreed to be an official advisor to the government-funded Quilliam Foundation. I did not really know Usama well at all so I just assumed this was naiviety on his part.
Then, around two and a half years ago, just after the massive Israeli bombardment and invasion of Gaza in December 2008/January 2009, I met him at an event in Slough where we were both speakers. I found his speech which discussed the events in Gaza to be very disappointing because it seemed to me that he was equating the actions of the Islamic Resistance movement, Hamas, with that of the Israelis as if they were on a level playing field, instead of understanding that one party was the illegal and well-armed and well-funded occupier and the other was the largely defenceless occupied party.
My dismay only increased when after our presentations had ended, he criticised me for speaking out against Zionism which I regard as a racist ideology.
‘You have to understand that most Jews are Zionists’, he said to me. ‘And what difference does that make?’ I responded.