Scotland’s largest mosque was last night engulfed in a bitter row after seven members of its ruling body resigned claiming they had been subjected to violent threats over reform plans.
The row at Glasgow Central Mosque centres around financial transparency and the representation of women, steps that have been opposed by traditionalists.
It comes as the mosque is being investigated by the Office of the Scottish Charity Regulator, an inquiry prompted by those within the mosque who are keen to see change.
In a statement on the mosque’s website, the executive committee said those resigning from their positions were doing so in protest “against the backwardness displayed by a minority of people”.
Those stepping down include Maqbool Rasul, the president, Nabeel Shaikh, the general secretary, and Jamil Moghul, the joint general secretary.
Solicitor Aamer Anwar, who has been critical of traditionalists at the mosque, said it was a “real tragedy” that those spearheading the calls for equality and diversity had resigned.
He said: “The fact that they did so because of alleged threats of violence towards their families is abhorrent and criminal.
“This committee had the decency and courage to expose corruption, misogyny and racism, but certain imams and elders tried to destroy them.”
He added: “The real danger is that this old guard can never be expected to tackle extremism, whilst they remain stuck in the dark ages.”
None of the remaining executive committee members were available for comment but the statement drew criticism on the mosque’s Facebook page.
One user, Asid Khan, said that while he acknowledged the need for change there “has to be a mature, balanced and considerate way to implement changes”.