Joe Swash chucked out of mosque by hate preacher Abu Hamza as he tried to bunk off school

Joe Swash chucked out of mosque by hate preacher Abu Hamza as he tried to bunk off school

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Joe Swash, 39, spoke candidly about his childhood growing up in London and attending mosques. The EastEnders star revealed he tried to pretend to be a Muslim as a kid so that he could bunk off school.

The Dancing On Ice champion confessed that he attended the mosque with the “best intentions” as he was inquisitive about the religion.

The small-screen star explained that he grew up in a multi-racial environment which he loved.

Speaking with Rob Beckett’s Lockdown Parenting Hell podcast, the comedian quizzed Joe on the moment he was taken out of a mosque.

Rob asked: “Didn’t you once pretend that you were becoming a Muslim in order to get Fridays off school?”

“Yeah, in my school it was very multi-racial, so there was probably only like two white boys in my class and it was very heavily Muslim,” Joe replied.

“But all my friends were Muslim. I loved it, I got involved and I wanted to know what they were doing.”

He added: “And I worked out that every Friday they were leaving at half 12, having a half-day off school to go on half-day prayer.

“And I was like, ‘Hold up a minute! I’m coming with you!’

 

Joe explained that he and his friends attended a mosque in Finsbury Park but revealed that Hamza sent him packing after a ruckus had ensued.

“I didn’t realise, it was the mosque down at Finsbury Park,” Joe said.

“You know hook hand – Abu Hamza? It was Abu Hamza who was the preacher at the mosque.”

He continued: “So I went down there with good intentions to sort of get out of school, but I wanted to learn a little bit, because I was always quite inquisitive and willing to know things.

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“I went in, I took my shoes off, I had to wash my feet and stuff.”

Joe added: “And then I walked in front of someone and it all went off – and then the geezer, hook man Hamza, chucked me out of the mosque.

“And I was so disappointed – because he didn’t even use the hook.

“He used his good hand and I was like, ‘Come on mate!’”

The radical Muslim cleric was imprisoned in the UK in 2006 after being found guilty of inciting violence.

Hamza was extradited to the US in 2012 and found guilty of 11 terror offences.

In 2015 he was jailed for life in prison with no parole in the States following his conviction.

Hamza used to be a former imam at the north London mosque.

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