March 21, 2011 on CNN:
LONDON – Usama Hasan has led Friday prayers at Leyton mosque in East London for 20 years.
Back in the early 1990s, his sympathies lay with what became known as the global jihad and he was an active supporter of extremist causes.
Over time, however, he warmed to Britain and started questioning the idea that the West was always acting against Muslim interests.
Now, his message is different. In recent years he has used his position as an imam to tackle issues like terrorism head-on.
But it’s his views on Darwinian evolution that have landed him in trouble with some fellow Muslims. It’s been two months now since he says criticism over his support for the theory of evolution provoked him to stop leading Friday prayers at his congregation.