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COPY OF IMPORTANT LETTER SENT TO ALL MPs AND PEERS CONCERNING THE PROPOSED WEST HAM ‘MEGA MOSQUE’

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The following letter was sent to all Peers and MPs on Friday, 21st July, to inform them of the potential terrorist links of Tablighi Jamaat, a Muslim group which is proposing to build a 40,000-person mosque in West Ham, London. The MPs and Peers were also sent a booklet entitled ‘The Mosque and its Role in Society’ as well as three newspaper articles concerning the proposed mosque and Tablighi Jamaat. One of the articles has been attached to this email and the remaining two can be found at the following links [all three articles will subsequently be made available on the Christian Concern for Our Nation website at christianconcernforournation.co.uk]:


http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,2087-1892780,00.html

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,2087-2252571.html


Copies of ‘The Mosque and its Role in Society’ may be ordered for £2 per book, or £1.50 per book for orders of 50 or more, by e-mailing Christian Concern for Our Nation at .


Also attached to this e mail is a copy of the article written by Dr Patrick Sookhdeo, International Director of Barnabas Fund, which was published in the Evening Standard newspaper, London, 4 September 2006



Terrorist links for Olympics mosque?


We are writing to draw your attention to real concern about the massive mosque that is proposed beside the Olympics site in east London. This concern relates to


(a) the terrorist links of the organisation behind the mosque;

(b) the sources of the required funding; and

(c) the community impact of the mosque.


(a) Tablighi Jamaat

Last November the Sunday Times carried a front-page article telling the world that an organisation called Tablighi Jamaat is hoping to build a massive £100m mosque to hold 70,000 (‘The London Markaz’) close by the Olympics site at West Ham, east London. A copy of the article is attached. (This article says 70,000 for Mosque and surrounding buildings)


Since then Tablighi Jamaat has been in negotiation with the London Development Agency and the London Thames Gateway Development Corporation. It is anticipated that the master-plan for this mosque will be published shortly, before the temporary planning permission on Tablighi Jamaat’s current small portal-frame mosque at the site runs out this autumn.


However there is increasing evidence that Tablighi Jamaat, despite its claims to be a peaceful pietistic organisation, is in fact a fertile breeding-ground for terrorists. For instance it appears that ‘Shoe Bomber’ Richard Reid, ‘American Taleban’ John Lindt and most recently the leader of the London 7/7 bombers, Mohammed Sidique Khan and his colleague Shehzad Tanweer, all had Tablighi Jamaat links.  See another Sunday Times article published two weeks ago (“Undercover on planet Beeston”) that is also attached.


The highly-rated French intelligence services assess Tablighi Jamaat as “an antechamber for fundamentalism” (Le Monde 25th Jan 2002) and Paris-based (Centre Nationale de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS) & Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Science Sociale (EHESS)) investigating academic Marc Gaborieau considers Tablighi Jamaat a tightly- and centrally-organised militant and secretive organisation that has close links with the Taleban at its main international base in Pakistan. Tablighi Jamaat has become an effective international recruiting-sergeant for Islamists many of who, like Mohammed Sidique Khan, spend time at the madrassas and military training camps along  the Afghan/Pakistan border.


Terrorism and security are nationally important issues, and the world is coming to east London for the Olympics in 2012. Are we sure that Tablighi Jamaat is the sort of organisation that should be building and managing such a huge landmark mosque there?


(b) Funding

Tablighi Jamaat is a Deobandi Muslim organisation and there is a close association between the Saudi Wahhabist and South Asian Deobandi fundamentalist forms of Islam.


Tablighi Jamaat’s current headquarters at Dewsbury, west Yorkshire, was funded by Saudi money in the late 70s and it is anticipated that most of the estimated £100m required for the new mosque will also come from Saudi sources.


Post 9/11, various Saudi international charitable channels of funding have been closed by western governments (such as the Al Haramain Foundation, the Benevolence International Foundation and the Saudi Global Relief Foundation which was supervised by the Saudi Ministry of Islamic Affairs) because of their terrorist and jihadist links, and the reasons behind the $billions of Saudi investment in the west has come under increasing scrutiny. Elsewhere too it has also been recognised for instance that Saudi money is behind the explosive growth of fundamentalist madrassas and training camps in Pakistan.


Why would the Saudis wish to fund the West Ham mosque?


(c) Community impact

Unlike some northern towns, the diverse ethnic and religious communities in east London mix together fairly well. In Newham for instance where the mosque is planned, well over 100 languages are spoken on a daily basis and there is a minimum of tension between the communities. And there are already dozens of mosques of all sizes in Newham and next-door Tower Hamlets and Hackney.

But the proposed huge mosque will dramatically affect this social balance in the surrounding areas. Already there is evidence of Muslim families buying properties nearby in order to be close to the mosque – and it hasn’t yet received planning permission!


Tablighi Jamaat’s UK headquarters are in the Savile Town area of Dewsbury which has been virtually taken over by the Tablighi Jamaat mosque and its supporters. How much more will West Ham and indeed all east London be  affected by the proposed mosque which is far larger than the one in Dewsbury? What will be the impact on race and inter-community relations?


Our democratic freedoms of speech, worship and association are valued assets that must be both protected and available to all residents of the UK no matter what their religious, racial and cultural background.


While we cherish this nation’s commitment to the fundamental values of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR), including freedom to choose and change religion and freely to build places of worship, we are concerned about the lack of such freedoms in many Islamic countries. For example, in Pakistan, the homeland of the Tablighi Jamaat, Muslims are not free to change religion; those who convert to Christianity face persecution and are sometimes liable to execution under blasphemy laws. And while Saudi Arabia has funded the building of very large numbers of mosques throughout this country, permission for building a single church in Saudi Arabia has yet to be granted.


Are we sure, as a nation, that we want by far the largest place of worship in our land to be sponsored by an organisation which holds values antithetical to those of our democracy and a religion which, in many parts of the world, denies essential freedoms enshrined in the UDHR, on which our liberal democracy is founded?


The proposed West Ham mosque clearly raises ominous national and local issues that must be tackled soon - before the planning process reaches advanced stages. That is why we are writing to you.


If you require further information, do not hesitate to contact us as above.


Yours sincerely,


Christian Concern for our Nation


 

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