The Mosques and Imams National Advisory Board (MINAB) has condemned the reported death threats issued against Dr. Usama Hasan.

It is believed Dr Hasan vice-chairman at Leyton mosque stopped delivering Friday prayers when 50 protesters interrupted his lecture by handing out leaflets and shouting for his execution.

He was expressing his views on evolution and women's right to refuse to wear the veil.

Maulana Ahmed Nisar Beg Acting Chairman of the MINAB said: “We all need to respect the principle of freedom of speech.

"All Muslims in the UK should stand united against the issuing of death threats, which is unacceptable. Usama is a scholar and a scientist and he has the right to debate and express opinions without fear of persecution.”

“Mosques should learn from this incident and open their doors to free and open debate on various issues that are on the minds of young British Muslims.

"There needs to be safe spaces for discussing beliefs and learning about different opinions.

“We all have to acknowledge one thing. That the actions of irresponsible minorities claiming to represent Islam does a lot of damage.

"As Mosques and Imams we must affirm the importance of Adab al-Ikhtilaf (Ethics of Disagreement) when faced with differences of opinion. We have had a long tradition of debate and disagreement within Islamic scholarship.”

The MINAB has offered support to the Masjid Al-Tawheed. This incident highlights the importance of our work to strengthen governance and leadership in all Muslim institutions.

The board said it was essential that all trustees and imams fully understand their roles and responsibilities.

Fortunately, there are examples of good practice in British mosques - but more must be done. MINAB is unequivocal in its condemnation of any form of violence, or threat of violence, towards individuals or communities.

These principles are embedded in our broad ranging programmes of support for mosques and mosque leaders.