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Militant Islam Monitor > Articles > Firas al-Riwi Former Head Of Leeds Grand Mosque Promoted Suicide Bombing To Children

Firas al-Riwi Former Head Of Leeds Grand Mosque Promoted Suicide Bombing To Children

July 12, 2015

Former British Mosque Head Promoted Suicide Bombing to Children
Firas al-Rawi, former head of Leeds Grand Mosque, distributed and sold children's DVD that encouraged suicide bombs against Israelis. Matt Wanderman

The former chair of a prominent British mosque is being accused of distributing a children's DVD that promotes suicide bombings against Israelis.

The Times newspaper reports that Firas al-Rawi, the former chairman of the Leeds Grand Mosque, also owned a Muslim-oriented bookstore and distributing company. He sold the DVD at his store and the film's cover listed his distributing company as the its "sole UK distributor."

The DVD features a young cartoon girl who holds explosives and promises that she will blow herself up in order to kill Israelis, just as her mother did. The clip is believed to have been inspired by a real bomber, and depicts the young girl finding dynamite in her mother's closet while singing, "My love will not be by words. I will follow my mother's step."

The film later includes scenes of explosions alongside crying woman and children, all set to happy music.

Police encountered the DVD several years ago after a congregation member turned a copy in to his local Member of Parliament. They arrested al-Rawi on charges of inciting racial hatred, but prosecutors determined that there was not enough evidence to convict him.

Al-Rawi is originally from Syria and is the son of a senior member of Syria's Muslim Brotherhood. Members of the local congregation told reporters that the mosque had been "hijacked by the Muslim Brotherhood against the will of the congregation."

An official representative of the mosque denied the claims of extremism.

Al-Rawi is believed to be currently living in Kuwait and unavailable for comment.


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