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The London Central Mosque Trust Press Statement
21st June 2010

The London Central Mosque Trust And Islamic Cultural Centre (the 'ICC')

PRESS STATEMENT

Statement regarding the relationship between Sheikh Mohamed El Salamouny and ICC

In 2007, by the Order of Al-Azhar in Egypt, Sheikh Mohamed El Salamouny was seconded to the ICC by his employer, Al-Azhar in Cairo. Sheikh Salamouny’s secondment as Imam which commenced in February 2007 was for two years. Secondments are by their very nature, temporary assignments.

Sheikh Salamouny was at all times employed and remunerated by Al-Azhar which remained his employer for the duration of the secondment. Though he always had accommodation allowance from his employer, the ICC provided Sheikh Salamouny with residential accommodation at its premises (at no cost). Upon termination of the secondment because of his retirement, it is normal practice for an ex-Imam to return to his place of employment, in this case Al-Azhar in Egypt.

As a result of an unfortunate physical attack on Sheikh Salamouny that took place on 10 August 2007, the ICC took significant steps in assisting and supporting Sheikh Salamouny. This included providing him with extra staff and legal support and covering various hospital expenses as well as arranging for him and his family to travel to Saudi Arabia for Hajj free of charge. A generous offer was also made for Sheikh Salamouny by the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz of Saudi Arabia for medical treatment.

Since that time, Sheikh Salamouny has continued to reside in the ICC’s residential flat at no cost to him even though his secondment was terminated by Al-Azhar almost two years ago.

The ICC has asked Sheikh Salamouny in person and by letter to vacate its property, but he has so far refused to do so. The ICC has no wish to delay the arrival of any incoming Imams due to Sheikh Salamouny’s failure to comply with its reasonable requests.

The ICC has exercised patience and understanding and has wished to show a conciliatory attitude throughout its dealings with Sheikh Salamouny, but he has sadly refused to leave or appreciate the position the ICC finds itself in. It was with regret that, as a last resort, the ICC was forced to pursue the only available recourse to it by issuing legal proceedings to obtain an Order for possession of the property.

The Court ruled (in Sheikh Salamouny’s presence) that there was and is no legal basis for his occupation (i.e. the secondment from Al-Azhar came to an end in October 2009).

The ICC remains grateful for all of the work done by Sheikh Salamouny up until the end of his period of secondment and hopes that all parties can now move on with their lives. The ICC will continue to work for the improvement of interfaith relations and contribute to the positive development of British society.

We will always remember Sheikh Salamouny for his contribution and his bravery.

The London Central Mosque Trust and Islamic Cultural Centre.